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The Natural World

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Chapter Summary

In the large woods of Scania and Halland, long-established administrative units, such as the herreder, enjoyed communal rights to the almindinger. In the early medieval period, most Danish woodland was comprised of beech. Some localities also supported oak, birch, hazel, and alder, while heather and oak scrub grew on man-made moorland. Woodland was the most important biotope that was subject to medieval colonization. Apart from the Pannage Area there is not much indication of a massive conversion of abandoned arable land into pasture. Denmark is surrounded by water, salt water, accessible along an extensive coastline. It appears that generally speaking the pronounced maritime orientation of settlements was quite new in the Middle Ages. In their 1995 report, the United Nation's climate panel IPCC WGI concluded that the two periods commonly known as the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age were more complex geographically than had been assumed hitherto.

Keywords: almindinger; arable land; Danish woodland; early modern period; Halland; Little Ice Age; man-made moorland; medieval colonization; Medieval Warm Period; Scania

10.1163/ej.9789004161924.i-448.7
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