Old settlement landscape
As Altsiedellandschaften areas are referred to that already in prehistoric and early historic times by members of agriculture driving cultures were populated. The technical term goes back to the geographer Robert Gradmann ; it is mainly used today in prehistoric archeology . It is mainly applied to the wooded regions of Europe. The view advocated by Gradmann, according to which the old settlement landscapes were naturally forest-free ( steppe theory ), has been refuted by archaeobotanical and archaeological research since the 1920s.
Starting with the first rural cultures in Europe in the 6th millennium BC. BC (cf. Bandkeramik ) up to the early Middle Ages, people lived in landscapes ( settlement chambers ) that were surrounded by forests. Due to the low population density in the Neolithic , in the Bronze and Iron Ages , clearing was mostly limited to small areas near rivers. Only with the extensive clearing of the High Middle Ages was the settlement area significantly expanded.