Wetland Reclamation and the Development of Reclamation Landscapes: A Comparative Framework

Tymon de Haas*, Mans Schepers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Wetland reclamation has occurred under diverse geographic andsocio-political conditions. A single reclamation event however, forms only one step in the evolution of what we refer to as reclamation landscapes. This paper assesses how interacting physical geographical, cultural and biological processes shape the landscape diachronically. Using a triangular model, we compare two wetland landscapes: the Pontine marshes in central Italy, reclaimed as part of Rome’s early Imperial expansion; and the Onlanden area in the northern Netherlands, reclaimed by emergent state societies in the Middle Ages. Reclamation turned
out not fully resilient from a cultural perspective in both cases, as physical geographical and biological processes continued to raise challenges in both reclamation landscapes. It is argued that the triangular model offers potential to systematically explore the drivers behind landscape evolution comparatively. A better understanding of such drivers may in turn improve current landscape management policies, including rewilding efforts
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-96
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Wetland Archaeology
Issue number1-2
Early online date4-May-2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • landscape archaeology
  • wetland archaeology
  • reclamation
  • Onlanden
  • Pontine marshes

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