Approaches to Landscape by Richard Muir (auth.)

By Richard Muir (auth.)

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These landscapes therefore existed in both space and time: We cannot form an idea of landscape except in terms of its time relations as well as of its space relations. It is in a continuous process of development or of dissolution and replacement ... historical geography may be considered as the series of changes which the cultural landscape has undergone and therefore involves the reconstruction of past cultural landscapes. (Sauer, 1927 p. 186) Central to Sauer's cultural geography were concerns with the way that humans transformed the natural environment by domesticating and diffusing forms of plants and animals, exporting farming and other technologies, re-directing water, burning vegetation and so on.

R. Taylor remarked that 'geography is hardly mentioned or considered throughout the book' (1955 p. 511). Then, pointing out that Hoskins had overlooked Dudley Stamp's work on the evolution of scenery, he added: There is no doubt that a new pungency would be given to the historian's narrative, stimulating and alive as it already is, were he as constantly aware as is Dr. Stamp of what may be termed regional differentiation. Surface relief and drainage, soil and climate, position and juxtaposition, constitute a totality of conditions which limit and control land use and so lie always behind landscape history.

Much of his most interesting work remains tentative, contingent upon formal and detailed investigation or experiment' (1979 p. 230). Jackson did, however, contribute to the conceptual resources of landscape study with his ideas on vernacular landscapes. He suggested that if the individual human being was the fundamental unit within humanity, then the dwelling should be regarded as the elementary unit in the landscape, and he believed that landscape should be treated as a living, lived-in world.

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