Landscape Archaeology between Art and Science. From a multi- to an interdisciplinary approach pages:223-238
International Conference on Landscape Archaeology edition:1 location:Amsterdam date:26-28 January 2010
The urbanization process has a huge impact on both the urban and rural landscape. Not only does it thoroughly modify the urban area, it also has a tremendous impact on the rural hinterland. We propose to take medieval Brussels (Duchy of Brabant) to tackle and illustrate this complex issue. According to our different fields of research, a multidisciplinary point of view will be adopted, combining urban history (the study of human urban society), rural history (agricultural developments and rural socio-economic change), historical geography (interaction between medieval people and their spatial environment) and natural sciences (through the archaeopedological and phytolith study of Dark Earth). Firstly, we briefly discuss the essential concepts ‘medieval city’ and ‘medieval urban landscape’ and try to apply them to the case of medieval Brussels. Secondly, we address some essential characteristics of landscape transformation, by tackling the major stages of the emergence and development of medieval Brussels and its changing impact on the regional landscape. We argue that the urbanization process, generally allocated solely to the urban area, is key to understanding landscape transformation of the medieval territory of Brussels.