Retrospection of medieval landscape change in mid-Sweden Historical maps analysed using a retrogressive approach

Hans Antonson

Scholars from different historical disciplines use the word 'retrospective in different ways which might sometimes be confusing. In historical geography, 'retrogressive methodology' is the term for what in history is known as retrospective methodology: using later sources to shed light upon earlier times. In this field, retrospective methodology is the opposite: making earlier sources throw light upon later times. The aim of this article is to present the retrogressive method as I know it from historical geography and in two case studies show how it works and highlight its potential for medieval landscape studies by the use of (post-medieval) maps from the provinces of Halsingland and Jamtland, mid-Sweden (fig. 1). The cases discuss medieval hamlet and village formation as well as late medieval farm desertion.

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