Change search
Link to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Publications (10 of 112) Show all publications
Maggs, T. & Widgren, M. (2023). Moxomatsi: the organisation of space in a major Bokoni settlement. Southern African Humanities, 36, 61-88
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Moxomatsi: the organisation of space in a major Bokoni settlement
2023 (English)In: Southern African Humanities, ISSN 1681-5564, Vol. 36, p. 61-88Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the archaeological quest towards better understanding the precolonial farming communities of South Africa, Bokoni settlements are doubly important. They represent the only ‘island’ of agricultural intensification in the region. They are also characterised by a wider use of stone in construction than any other such communities. This distinguishing attribute provides us with far greater potential for reconstructing the patterns according to which space was organised in Bokoni, than is possible with other precolonial farming societies. This applies particularly to the larger and more densely built settlements such as Moxomatsi, where intensive use was made of available space. Here we describe the various types of stone-built features and the spatial patterning we can derive from them. Networks of roads and footpaths, together with related features, give us insight into patterns of circulation by people and livestock within the settlement. Circulation routes together with walls, terraces and stone lines contribute to patterns on the ground, which indicate ways in which cultivated land was subdivided and allocated, both adjacent to homesteads and at some distance away. Ways in which groups of homesteads are linked seem to reflect clustering based on kinship, an organisational principle which resonates with ethnographic evidence. Local environmental issues of hydrology, topography, geology, and soils have also played a significant part in how the community used the landscape. 

Keywords
African Iron Age, precolonial farmers, settlement organisation, Mpumalanga history, Bokoni, Moxomatsi
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-219262 (URN)001125030600005 ()
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2023-07-20 Created: 2023-07-20 Last updated: 2024-01-16Bibliographically approved
Wei, X., Widgren, M., Li, B., Ye, Y., Fang, X., Zhang, C. & Chen, T. (2021). Dataset of 1 km cropland cover from 1690 to 1999 in Scandinavia. Earth System Science Data, 13(6), 3035-3056
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dataset of 1 km cropland cover from 1690 to 1999 in Scandinavia
Show others...
2021 (English)In: Earth System Science Data, ISSN 1866-3508, E-ISSN 1866-3516, Vol. 13, no 6, p. 3035-3056Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Spatially explicit historical land cover datasets are essential not only for simulations of climate and environmental dynamics but also for projections of future land use, food security, climate, and biodiversity. However, widely used global datasets are developed for continental- to global-scale analysis and simulations. Their accuracy depends on the verification of more regional reconstruction results. This study collects cropland area data of each administrative unit (parish/municipality/county) in Scandinavia from multiple sources. The cropland area data are validated, calibrated, interpolated, and allocated into 1 km×1 km grid cells. Then, we develop a dataset with spatially explicit cropland area from 1690 to 1999. Results indicate that the cropland area increased from 1.82×106 ha to 6.71×106 ha from 1690 to 1950 and then decreased to 5.90×106 ha in 1999. Before 1810, cropland cover expanded in southern Scandinavia and remained stable in northern Scandinavia. From 1810 to 1910, northern Scandinavia experienced slight cropland expansion. The cropland area increased rapidly in the southern part of the study area before changing slightly. After 1950, the cropland areas began to decrease in most regions, especially in eastern Scandinavia. When comparing global datasets with this study, although the total Scandinavia cropland area is in agreement among SAGE (Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment), HYDE (History Database of the Global Environment ) 3.2, PJ (Pongratz Julia), and this study, the spatial patterns show considerable differences, except for in Denmark between HYDE 3.2 and this study. The dataset can be downloaded from https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.926591 (Wei et al., 2021).

National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-194721 (URN)10.5194/essd-13-3035-2021 (DOI)000669510400001 ()
Available from: 2021-06-30 Created: 2021-06-30 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved
Widgren, M. (2021). Ulf Sporrong. In: Kungl. Vitterhets historie och antikvitets akademiens årsbok 2021: (pp. 47-54). Stockholm: Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ulf Sporrong
2021 (Swedish)In: Kungl. Vitterhets historie och antikvitets akademiens årsbok 2021, Stockholm: Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien, 2021, p. 47-54Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien, 2021
Series
Kungl. Vitterhets historie och antikvitets akademiens årsbok, ISSN 0083-6796
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-198287 (URN)9789188763273 (ISBN)
Available from: 2021-11-03 Created: 2021-11-03 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved
Tollin, C. & Widgren, M. (2021). Utmarksskiften som ursprunglig kapitalackumulation?. Historisk Tidskrift, 141(4), 712-722
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Utmarksskiften som ursprunglig kapitalackumulation?
2021 (Swedish)In: Historisk Tidskrift, ISSN 0345-469X, E-ISSN 2002-4827, Vol. 141, no 4, p. 712-722Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [sv]

För historiska geografer är Erik Hallbergs och Lars Nyströms artikel ”Den ursprungliga kapitalackumulationen på svensk botten” i Historisk Tidskrift 141:1 både välkommen och problematisk. Den är välkommen därför att nya teoretiska perspektiv sätts i arbete i studiet av våra historiska lantmäteriakter och för sin strävan efter en nationell översikt över utmarkskiftena. Den är problematisk därför att författarna inte tagit till sig den tidigare historisk-geografiska forskningen på området och för att författarna inte klargör sin syn på begreppet primitiv ackumulation och hur utmarksskiftena i Sverige skulle kunna belysa den. 

National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Geography with Emphasis on Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-199336 (URN)
Available from: 2021-12-02 Created: 2021-12-02 Last updated: 2022-05-10Bibliographically approved
Widgren, M. (2020). Gamla markslag kommer tillbaka när Stensjö by blir länets första kulturreservat. Stenmuren (1), 26-29
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gamla markslag kommer tillbaka när Stensjö by blir länets första kulturreservat
2020 (Swedish)In: Stenmuren, ISSN 2000-7590, no 1, p. 26-29Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-179967 (URN)
Available from: 2020-03-17 Created: 2020-03-17 Last updated: 2022-02-26Bibliographically approved
Widgren, M. (2020). Sacred and profane, visual and lived-in: A note on some creative tensions in the landscape. In: Irene Garcia Losquino, Olof Sundqvist, Declan Taggart (Ed.), Making the Profane Sacred in the Viking Age: Essays in Honour of Stefan Brink (pp. 53-60). Turnhout: Brepols
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sacred and profane, visual and lived-in: A note on some creative tensions in the landscape
2020 (English)In: Making the Profane Sacred in the Viking Age: Essays in Honour of Stefan Brink / [ed] Irene Garcia Losquino, Olof Sundqvist, Declan Taggart, Turnhout: Brepols , 2020, p. 53-60Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Turnhout: Brepols, 2020
Series
Medieval Texts and Cultures of Northern Europe, ISSN 1784-2859, E-ISSN 2294-8414 ; 32
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-182239 (URN)978-2-503-58604-5 (ISBN)
Available from: 2020-06-05 Created: 2020-06-05 Last updated: 2022-02-26Bibliographically approved
Widgren, M. (2019). Landskapet som kulturminne: Vägval i förvaltningen av Stensjö by. In: Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademiens årsbok: (pp. 99-128). Stockholm: Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Landskapet som kulturminne: Vägval i förvaltningen av Stensjö by
2019 (Swedish)In: Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademiens årsbok, Stockholm: Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien, 2019, p. 99-128Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien, 2019
Series
Kungl. Vitterhets historie och antikvitetsakademiens årsbok, ISSN 0083-6796 ; 2019
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-175616 (URN)9789188763150 (ISBN)
Available from: 2019-11-06 Created: 2019-11-06 Last updated: 2022-02-26Bibliographically approved
Marchant, R., Widgren, M., Pas Schrijver, A. & Wright, D. (2018). Drivers and trajectories of land cover change in East Africa: Human and environmental interactions from 6000 years ago to present. Earth-Science Reviews, 178, 322-378
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Drivers and trajectories of land cover change in East Africa: Human and environmental interactions from 6000 years ago to present
2018 (English)In: Earth-Science Reviews, ISSN 0012-8252, E-ISSN 1872-6828, Vol. 178, p. 322-378Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

East African landscapes today are the result of the cumulative effects of climate and land-use change over millennial timescales. In this review, we compile archaeological and palaeoenvironmental data from East Africa to document land-cover change, and environmental, subsistence and land-use transitions, over the past 6000 years. Throughout East Africa there have been a series of relatively rapid and high-magnitude environmental shifts characterised by changing hydrological budgets during the mid- to late Holocene. For example, pronounced environmental shifts that manifested as a marked change in the rainfall amount or seasonality and subsequent hydrological budget throughout East Africa occurred around 4000, 800 and 300 radiocarbon years before present (yr BP). The past 6000 years have also seen numerous shifts in human interactions with East African ecologies. From the mid-Holocene, land use has both diversified and increased exponentially, this has been associated with the arrival of new subsistence systems, crops, migrants and technologies, all giving rise to a sequence of significant phases of land-cover change. The first large-scale human influences began to occur around 4000 yr BP, associated with the introduction of domesticated livestock and the expansion of pastoral communities. The first widespread and intensive forest clearances were associated with the arrival of iron-using early farming communities around 2500 yr BP, particularly in productive and easily-cleared mid-altitudinal areas. Extensive and pervasive land-cover change has been associated with population growth, immigration and movement of people. The expansion of trading routes between the interior and the coast, starting around 1300 years ago and intensifying in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries CE, was one such process. These caravan routes possibly acted as conduits for spreading New World crops such as maize (Zea mays), tobacco (Nicotiana spp.) and tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum), although the processes and timings of their introductions remains poorly documented. The introduction of southeast Asian domesticates, especially banana (Musa spp.), rice (Oryza spp.), taro (Colocasia esculenta), and chicken (Gallus gallus), via transoceanic biological transfers around and across the Indian Ocean, from at least around 1300 yr BP, and potentially significantly earlier, also had profound social and ecological consequences across parts of the region.

Through an interdisciplinary synthesis of information and metadatasets, we explore the different drivers and directions of changes in land-cover, and the associated environmental histories and interactions with various cultures, technologies, and subsistence strategies through time and across space in East Africa. This review suggests topics for targeted future research that focus on areas and/or time periods where our understanding of the interactions between people, the environment and land-cover change are most contentious and/or poorly resolved. The review also offers a perspective on how knowledge of regional land-use change can be used to inform and provide perspectives on contemporary issues such as climate and ecosystem change models, conservation strategies, and the achievement of nature-based solutions for development purposes.

National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Geography with Emphasis on Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-153997 (URN)10.1016/j.earscirev.2017.12.010 (DOI)000430774000014 ()
Available from: 2018-03-11 Created: 2018-03-11 Last updated: 2022-02-28Bibliographically approved
Bergius, M., Benjaminsen, T. A. & Widgren, M. (2018). Green economy, Scandinavian investments and agricultural modernization in Tanzania. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 45(4), 825-852
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Green economy, Scandinavian investments and agricultural modernization in Tanzania
2018 (English)In: The Journal of Peasant Studies, ISSN 0306-6150, E-ISSN 1743-9361, Vol. 45, no 4, p. 825-852Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

‘Green economy’ is a broad concept open to different interpretations, definitions and practices ranging from the greening of current neoliberal economies to radical transformations of these economies. In Africa, one emerging and powerful idea in the implementation of the green economy seems to be to use a green agenda to further strengthen development as modernization through capital-intensive land investments. This has again reinvigorated old debates about large-scale versus smallholder agriculture. Influential actors justify large-scale ‘green’ investments by the urgency for economic development as well as to offset carbon emissions and other environmental impacts. In this contribution, we discuss the case of the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) to give examples of how the green economy may materialize in Africa. SAGCOT is presented by the Tanzanian government as well as investors and donors as a leading African example of an ‘investment blueprint’ and as a laboratory to test green growth combining profitable farming with the safeguard of ecosystem services. In particular, we discuss three Scandinavian investments within SAGCOT, their social implications and their discursive representations through the public debates that these investments have generated in Scandinavia.

Keywords
green economy, agricultural modernization, Scandinavian investments, SAGCOT, Tanzania
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-140053 (URN)10.1080/03066150.2016.1260554 (DOI)000429995200007 ()
Available from: 2017-02-25 Created: 2017-02-25 Last updated: 2022-02-28Bibliographically approved
Widgren, M. (2018). Mapping Global Agricultural History: A Map and Gazetteer for Sub-Saharan Africa, c. 1800 AD. In: Anna Maria Mercuri, A. Catherine D'Andrea, Rita Fornaciari, Alexa Höhn (Ed.), Plants and People in the African Past: Progress in African Archaeobotany (pp. 303-327). Cham: Springer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mapping Global Agricultural History: A Map and Gazetteer for Sub-Saharan Africa, c. 1800 AD
2018 (English)In: Plants and People in the African Past: Progress in African Archaeobotany / [ed] Anna Maria Mercuri, A. Catherine D'Andrea, Rita Fornaciari, Alexa Höhn, Cham: Springer, 2018, p. 303-327Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Recent global historical cropland modelling grossly underestimates the pre-colonial development of agriculture in the Americas and many parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Such models are usually developed by back casting from recent land cover, combined with environmentally deterministic algorithms. Historical geographers have been slow in responding to a new demand for a global synthesis. In this paper, a preliminary map of African agricultural systems dating to AD 1800 is presented. It forms a component of the project Mapping Global Agriculture and is based on the existing historical literature, observations by early travelers, archaeology and archaeobotany. It should be emphasized that the generated map should be considered preliminary.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cham: Springer, 2018
Keywords
Land cover, Land use, Agricultural systems, Historical croplands
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-158470 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-89839-1_15 (DOI)978-3-319-89838-4 (ISBN)978-3-319-89839-1 (ISBN)
Available from: 2018-08-05 Created: 2018-08-05 Last updated: 2022-02-26Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-3322-7848

Search in DiVA

Show all publications