Route persistence. Modelling and quantifying historical route-network stability from the Roman period to early-modern times (AD 100–1600): a case study from the Netherlands

Rowin J. van Lanen, B. Groenewoudt, Theo Spek, Esther Jansma

    OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

    5 Citaten (Scopus)
    269 Downloads (Pure)


    Research on route-network stability is rare. In time, due to cultural and/or natural causes, settlement locations and route orientation shift. The nature of these spatial changes sheds light on the complex interaction between settlements and surrounding natural landscape conditions. This study investigates the stability of route networks in the Netherlands during the past two millennia by determining their persistence through time. Environmental, archaeological and historical data are used to reconstruct and compare route networks. By using network friction, archaeological data on settlement patterns
    and route networks in combination with historical data (e.g. old maps), we were able to model route-network persistence (not necessarily continuity) from the Roman to early medieval periods (AD 100–800) and from the Early Middle Ages to the Early Modern Times (AD 800–1600). Results show that around 67.6% of the modelled early-mediëval routes in the Netherlands are persistent with routes in the Roman period. Covering a much larger surface area of the
    Netherlands, 24.5% of the early-modern routes show a clear persistence with their early-medieval counterparts. Besides the differences in surface area, this downfall can largely be explained by cultural dynamics, with 71.4% of the earlymodern route network following modelled movement corridors.
    already in existence during the Early Middle Ages.
    Originele taal-2English
    Pagina's (van-tot)1037–1052
    Aantal pagina's16
    TijdschriftArchaeological and Anthropological Sciences
    Nummer van het tijdschrift5
    Vroegere onlinedatum18-nov-2016
    StatusPublished - aug-2018

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