Cultural Landscape



An important concept in the World Heritage portfolio is the cultural landscape, influenced significantly by the long tradition of European landscape painting which became established as a genre in the 15th century.

Above image sourced from Wikipedia (Author: Rythin) under Wikimedia commons.

A great variety of landscapes can be identified with distinctive regions of the earth. Invariably they combine a natural environment modified over the ages by humans, and they have become significant and often politically sensitive because they reflect specific techniques of land use that sustain biological diversity and are under threat from inappropriate development or climate change. Moreover, they are often associated with intangible heritages unique to the communities who live there; examples are religious beliefs, and artistic and traditional customs, perhaps reflecting the spiritual relationship of people with their environment.

According to the guidelines provided by the European Landscape Convention a thorough understanding of the long-term histories of cultural landscapes is essential to develop conscious policies for their preservation and/or sustainable development.

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In this respect, multidisciplinary archaeological approaches can provide the tools and expertise necessary to analyse the history of cultural landscapes as entities modelled through the interaction of humans and their environment.

To demonstrate this Dr Hector Orengo has made available a recording of his research seminar 'Archaeological approaches to the study of Mediterranean cultural landscapes‘, delivered as part of the School of Geography’s Environment and Society and Geo-sciences Research Cluster Seminar, 28 May 2012.

The lecture provides a short introduction to cultural landscapes followed by the presentation of several case studies aimed to show the potential of archaeology in understanding the onset and development of Mediterranean cultural landscapes.


Above video developed at the University Of Nottingham