Research press release


Scientific Reports

Geoscience: Soil mapping technique reveals secrets of medieval landscapes



今回、Philippe De Smedtたちは、電磁誘導(EMI)センサーを用いて、複数の土壌の特性を同時に調べて、これによって中世のフランドル地方の湿地帯の考古学的変化と自然の地形の変化を3Dで再現した。研究対象となった地域には、1578年に軍事的闘争と洪水の連続によって放棄された修道院の跡地も含まれていた。EMIセンサーのデータによって、修道士が周辺地域の開墾に関する指示を出す場所として使っていた人為的に作られた地形が初めて再現され、中世における修道院の大規模な土地干拓戦略に関する新たな手がかりが得られた。この新しい方法は、過去の複雑な地形を調べるためのこれまでよりロバストな方法となる可能性が、今回の研究によって示された。

A technique that combines a high-resolution geophysical soil survey with archaeological information has been used to create a detailed 3D reconstruction of a previously unknown reclaimed medieval wetland in Belgium. The approach, which requires only minimal invasive research, can help expand our knowledge of the historical land use that shaped a large part of present-day Europe.

When studying past human responses to changing environmental and socio-economic conditions, researchers are often faced with scarce documentary and archaeological information. One example of historical human-landscape interaction is the reclamation of wetlands and forest in the historical County of Flanders in Belgium between the 11th and 15th centuries, to meet the demands of emerging cities, such as Ghent and Bruges.

Philippe De Smedt and colleagues used an electromagnetic induction (EMI) sensor to map the properties of multiple soil volumes simultaneously, which enabled them to reconstruct in 3D the archaeological and natural landscape variations of a medieval wetland in Flanders. The study area included the site of a former abbey, which was abandoned in 1578 due to military struggles and successive floods. The EMI sensor data reveal new insights into the abbey’s extensive land reclamation strategy during the Middle Ages by allowing the reconstruction of a previously unknown designed landscape from which the monks directed their cultivation of the surrounding area. The research indicates that this technique could represent a more robust way of studying complex historical landscapes.

doi: 10.1038/srep01517


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