By P.H. Nienhuis

This special textual content offers the environmental background of the lowland delta of the rivers Rhine and Meuse. it really is an ecological tale of evolving human-environmental kin and the way they focus on weather swap and sea-level upward thrust. The textual content bargains a mixture of in-depth ecology and environmental background. The synthesis provides a blueprint for destiny administration and recovery, from revolutionary reclamation of land long ago, to variation of human must the forces of nature.

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Extra resources for Environmental History of the Rhine-Meuse Delta: An ecological story on evolving human-environmental relations coping with climate change and sea-level rise

Example text

In addition, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and hazelnuts were collected in the surroundings of the settlements. Archaeological findings only show wild fruits; the growing of fruit was not practiced in the German areas, in contrast with the Roman provinces (Bloemers and Van Dorp, 1991). During the Roman occupation, the need for the production of food increased. The interregional corn trade must have taken place on a considerable scale, because there were thousands of soldiers in the forts along the Rhine, who needed more food than Germania Inferior could produce.

One theory is that the Romans strived to stabilise the border areas between the German tribes in the north and east and their fortified limes. This stabilisation was reached by diplomatic contacts, resulting in agreements and client-relations, as described by Tacitus (Bloemers and Van Dorp, 1991). As material expression of those alliances, goods were exchanged between the Romans and the German tribes. g. for meat and leather. 4 After the Romans, the Period from ad 400 to 800 39 famine, drought and consequent crop failure and exhaustion of the German fields.

The rough outline of the basins of Rhine and Meuse is the work of nature, the deposition of the ice-pushed ridges and the cover-sand layers during the Saalien ice age, 250,000 to 140,000 years ago, and the steady sea-level rise after the last Weichselien ice age, from roughly 15,000 years ago onwards (Van den Broeke, 1991a). The shaping and re-shaping, gain and loss of land, exploiting or counteracting the forces of nature is the work of man. Eventually, the Delta is a man-made country. This chapter covers the dawn of the Delta.

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