par Nicosia, Cristiano ;Devos, Yannick ;Vrydaghs, Luc ;Charruadas, Paulo ;Degraeve, Ann
Référence Annual meeting of the EAA (22: 31st August-4th September 216: Vilnius)
Publication Non publié, 2016-09-03
Communication à un colloque
Résumé : The study of the early development of Brussels, Belgium, has shown to be a challenge. Over the last century historians have heavily debated on the scarce existing – often very questionable – historical sources, trying to explain the emergence of this city situated along a steep slope bordering the Senne river. In the last decades, a new generation of historians underlined the importance of agricultural development and expansion as an important factor for the early development of Brussels (Charruadas, 2011).Of course the question should be raised whether there are any archaeological data supporting this hypothesis. Despite the many interventions taking place over the last decades in the centre of Brussels, no remains of farmsteads have been recovered. But archaeologists do almost systematically encounter dark earth dating from the 10th-13th century AD, period where the historians situate the early town development.An interdisciplinary approach has been developed to study these dark earths, involving not only historical research and archaeology, but also geoarchaeological (including soil micromorphology and physico-chemical analyses) and archaeobotanical studies. These studies highlight that several human activities can be hidden behind complex formation processes, some related to the development of an agro-pastoral system (Devos et al., 2009; 2011; 2013; Vrydaghs et al., 2016).The present contribution will discuss the results of the study of these dark earth units, and demonstrate how they contributed to the understanding of the early town development and the importance of agricultural activities, the location of crop and pasture land, and the cultivated crops.References:Charruadas, P., 2011. Croissance rurale et essor urbain  bruxelles. Les dynamiques d’une société entre ville et campagnes (1000-1300) . Académie royale de Belgique, Brussels.Devos, Y., Vrydaghs, L., Degraeve, A., Fechner, K., 2009. An archaeopedological and phytolitarian study of the “Dark Earth” on the site of rue de Dinant (Brussels, Belgium). Catena 78, 270-284.Devos, Y., Vrydaghs, L., Degraeve, A., Modrie, S., 2011. Unravelling Urban Stratigraphy; the Study of Brussels’ (Belgium) Dark Earth. An Archaeopedological Perspective. Medieval and Modern Matters 2, 51-76.Devos, Y., Nicosia, C., Vrydaghs, L., Modrie, S., 2013. Studying urban stratigraphy: Dark Earth and a microstratified sequence on the site of the Court of Hoogstraeten (Brussels, Belgium).Integrating archaeopedology and phytolith analysis. Quaternary International 315, 147-166. Vrydaghs, L., Devos, Y., Charruadas, P., Scott Cummings, L. & Degraeve, A., 2016. Agricultural Activities in the 10th–13th Century CE in Brussels (Belgium): An Interdisciplinary Approach. In: Retamero, F., Schjellerup, I. & Davies, A. (eds.), Agricultural and Pastoral Landscapes in Pre- Industrial Society: Choices, Stability and Change. Oxbow Books, Oxford, pp. 221-234. (=Early Agricultural Remnants and Technical Heritage (EARTH): 8000 Years of Resilience and Innovation, 3).