Topic 2 - The archaeology of rural space
Isabelle Catteddu, Ingénieur de recherches, INRAP, UMR 7140 ArScAn
Dr. Anne Nissen Jaubert, Maître de conférences, Université François Rabelais de Tours, UMR 6173 CITERES équipe LAT
Rural settlements in their natural, economic and social environment
    In many european countries, preventive archaeology provides fundamental information about the rural world, especially during the early middle ages. These data are not only due to the increase in large-scale excavations but also to the fact that we now work in unknown countries.

     At the same time, the renewals in research directions and in interdisciplinarity studies, as well as numerous palaeoenvironmental studies, should give us a better understanding of settlements within their environment.

     The aim of this session is to put together  experiences from different geographical areas, not only pointing out relations between rural sites and their immediate environment but also the diversity of the habitats.

     Papers could also concern site reports     and regional studies putting the settlement in its social and economic context (environment) and studying hierarchical criteria.

     Finally, relationships between settlements within the same zone could be considered in term of their impact on the management of their territory.

Session 1 : Occupation and management of soil and ressources.
    The aim of this session is to better understand settlements and their environment, but also the rural spatial organisation in which they are established. Examples from diverse territories will allow us to consider the way diversified resources (including maritimes resources, forestry, etc.) are managed by medieval societies and their impact on soil management.
Long term and Multidisciplinary Regional and territorial studies will be priviledged.
Session 2 : Rural settlements ; function and status. 
    Numerous excavations of rural settlements reveal a great diversity of occupations also territories, whatever their scales. These data allow us today to point out the hierarchy of these habitats and the relationships between them.
      Papers will show the diversity and relationships between settlements on a regional scale, taking into account structuration structures (roads, ditches, burial places, cultivated lands, environmental data….).
Session 3 : Internal organisation of the habitats
    At the core of rural settlements, certain components play a strong structuring role : roads, ditches, fields systems, churches, privileged farms… The studies - essentially site reports - will highlight the impact of these elements on the internal organisation and evolution of the habitat, and on the eventual perenniality of some occupations or activities.