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"Living in the woods". Seasonal agro-pastoral and craft-related temporary settlements in medieval and post-medieval Provence (France)

Abstract : Woodlands and pastures were living spaces complementary to village houses during medieval and post-medieval periods. Due to their ephemeral nature, seasonal settlements have left few traces either on the ground or in written records. While temporary dwellings are totally absent from historical research, archaeology has long focused on mountain summer grazing settlements, to the detriment of winter grazing ones. Those related to woodland crafts (logging, charcoal and tar burning, harvesting of bark and leaves etc.) and to shifting cultivation are largely unknown. However, when spatial (distance residence-place of production), time (duration of the operating season) and technical (operational time and monitoring) constraints were too great, these activities also led to the creation of temporary dwellings. This paper proposes a comparative study of pastoral and craft-related seasonal settlements in Provence, cross-referencing archaeological and historical data. It tackles several issues, such as the identification of the drivers of temporary occupations, the characterisation of temporary settlements’ structures as such, the duration and seasonality of their occupation, their long-term use dynamics, and finally the daily life of their inhabitants. Occupied for between two days and several months a year, these settlements call into question the concept of temporary and permanent settlements.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03028811
Contributor : Sylvain Burri <>
Submitted on : Friday, November 27, 2020 - 5:32:37 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 22, 2021 - 3:49:10 AM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-03028811, version 1

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Sylvain Burri. "Living in the woods". Seasonal agro-pastoral and craft-related temporary settlements in medieval and post-medieval Provence (France). The Ruralia XIII Conference: Seasonal Settlement in the Medieval and Early Modern Countryside, Association RURALIA, Sep 2019, Stirling, United Kingdom. ⟨halshs-03028811⟩

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