Towards mutual understanding within interdisciplinary palaeoenvironmental research: An exemplary analysis of the term landscape

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  • F. Förster
  • R. Großmann
  • M. Hinz
  • K. Iwe
  • Hanno Kinkel
  • A. Larsen
  • U. Lungershausen
  • C. Matarese
  • P. Meurer
  • O. Nelle
  • V. Robin
  • M. Teichmann

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The term landscape is a crucial term for a diversity of scientific disciplines researching the Quaternary, each of which maintains different concepts and definitions. With increasing interdisciplinary research cooperation between disparate disciplines, a basis for communication has to be established. The aim of this paper is a) to survey an assortment of concepts and understandings of landscape within diverse disciplinary contexts and b) to explore the possibilities and usefulness of a common concept in an interdisciplinary palaeo-environmental research field, shared by scholars from the humanities and natural sciences alike. This comprises the disciplines art history, prehistoric archaeology, classical archaeology, ecology, geography, geology, and history. As a result, it can be stated that landscape is a cultural term: Landscapes are a cultural construct, and any landscape is the result of contemporary vision which is culturally influenced by the current context. Thus, landscapes are always shaped through today's construction of landscapes, independent from the discipline, and equally if in or for modern, or prehistoric times, and equally, if with or without humans.
JournalQuaternary International
Pages (from-to)4-11
Publication statusPublished - 2013