Un espace rural en Berry dans la longue durée : expérience de micro-analyse des dynamiques spatio-temporelles du paysage et du peuplement dans la région de Sancergues (Cher)

Abstract : This work processes as the diachronic evolution of connections maintained between the past societies and their space, in rural areas. Considering the image of the landscape delivered by the napoleonic land registry, the objective is to restore the stages and the modalities of the building of a rural space by the societies from Protohistory to modern times.
The main originality of this work lies in the variation of the time and space scales, and joins by many aspects in the microhistoric initiative, to facilitate an approach of the spatial practices in the elementary scale of the ancient societies, that of the "finage". The combination of the spatial micro-scale and of a long time-span indeed facilitates a better location of the breaks and the continuities in land occupation.
But to consider the evolution of a space since Protohistory until 19th c. implies the necessity of treating several different sources. The definition of the modalities of their crossing is one of methodological objectives of this work. Each of them must be clearly analyzed, according to her conditions of production, and after an evaluation and a rigorous consideration of the bias which it implies.
The diachronic approach of the chosen space is thus the synthesis of an archaeological study (from data acquired during fieldwork operations), of a historic study (based on texts) and of a morphological study (realized on the ancient plans and the "napoleonic" land registry). The appeal to a regressive process allows here a more effective exploitation of rarer and incomplete, scattered documentary sourcesas we go back up in the time.
The restoration of the settlement's dynamics, approached through the archaeological data and from the medieval and modern archives, allowed to identify several episodes of development and recession of the habitat's network.
The analysis of the contemporary and sub-contemporary road network facilitated a scale variation from the micro towards the macro. This variation of the focal of observation allowed to measure the insertion of the study area in the sub-current and past networks of communication. By a hierarchical approach inspired by the ecology of the landscape, the field system's morphology allows to read the various levels of organization which govern the landscape, from the scale of the stream to the settlement's scale. The written documentation of modern times, through the mention of numerous religious or politico-administrative entities, illustrates the outcome of a process of territories' definition at a local scale, which doubtless begins from the medieval period with the emergence and the assertion of districts as parishes and the seigneuries. Finally, the "practice spaces" were approached, notably thanks to the archaeological data. The agrarian territories, that bounds the influence of the manurings of furniture associated with manure, allow the reading of the diachronic evolution of the location of spaces put in culture, their connections to the inhabited places and the physical constraints of the environment, at the daily movements' scale.
On the methodological plan, this work was the occasion to define appropriate tools to study the dynamics of the land occupation in a diachronic way and to facilitate the micro-regional comparisons, notably by the use of statistical and spatial modellings within a GIS. These comparisons allow to discern the evolutions testifying of common tendencies and of the others of local senses of identity. The variation of scale from the micro towards the macro facilitates then the questioning of models often built on a small scale and on the silence of the written sources.
Document type :
Complete list of metadatas

Cited literature [318 references]  Display  Hide  Download

Contributor : Nicolas Poirier <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 10:38:28 AM
Last modification on : Friday, March 1, 2019 - 4:52:06 PM
Long-term archiving on : Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - 3:14:55 PM


  • HAL Id : tel-00212332, version 2



Nicolas Poirier. Un espace rural en Berry dans la longue durée : expérience de micro-analyse des dynamiques spatio-temporelles du paysage et du peuplement dans la région de Sancergues (Cher). Histoire. Université François Rabelais - Tours, 2007. Français. ⟨tel-00212332v2⟩



Record views


Files downloads