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Landskap och ödesbölen: Jämtland före, under och efter den medeltida agrarkrisen
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
Responsible organisation
2004 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Landscape and Ödesbölen : The Province of Jämtland, Sweden, before, during and after the Medieval Agrarian Crisis. (English)
Abstract [en]

This study examines landscape change in the Province of Jämtland during c. 1000–1750 AD. Settlement and arable cultivation are two of the most important sources in this study. They are therefore treated in depth, particularly farmsteads that were deserted during the late medieval agrarian crisis, so-called ödesbölen, and their fossil field-traces. The dissertation contains four major investigations.

In the first investigation 610 possible ödesbölen were identified. The desertion was estimated at 50 per cent. The second investigation had its focus on the geographic location, and the conclusion was that the ödesbölen may have been deserted when the climate turned colder in the 14th century. The third investigation concerned medieval agriculture. Using historical maps and detailed mapping of fossil field traces it was established that the annually cultivated acreage decreased from the High Middle Ages until early modern times. This probably means that the agrarian crisis caused a change in the agrarian regime, from predominant arable farming to predominant stock-raising. The fourth investigation was whether the ownership or the use of the ödesbölen created obstacles to recolonization when the crisis subsided. This turned out not to be so in the case of ownership, but may have been so with regard to communal forest grazing. According to historical maps the ödesbölen in Jämtland were finally recolonized about 200 years later than for example in southern Sweden. The reasons probably were wars and a worse climate.

The dissertation is capped off with both a model and a description of landscape change in Jämtland. Characteristic for the development of the landscape has been fluctuations in settlement. The ödesbölen are part of a pattern in which they are colonized, deserted, recolonized and again deserted in a cyclical course of events. The openness of the landscape is not part of this course of events.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Kulturgeografiska institutionen , 2004. , 251 p.
Meddelanden från Kulturgeografiska institutionen vid Stockholms universitet, ISSN 0585-3508 ; 129
Keyword [en]
Agrarian history, Early modern period, Sweden, Brunflo, Revsund, Sundsjö, Parish, Settlement, Deserted farms, Hamlet, Farmstead, The Black Death, Climate, Change of agrarian regime, Ownership, Forms of cultivation, Historical maps, Medieval diplomas, Registers of taxpayers, Fossil farmland, Field mapping, Archaeology
National Category
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-117ISBN: 91-7265-831-2OAI: diva2:189509
Public defence
2004-05-14, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8 C, Stockholm, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2009-03-11 Created: 2007-01-23 Last updated: 2010-04-09Bibliographically approved

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