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Early agrarian landscapes in Finland

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Cadastral maps from the 17th and 18th centuries of villages in southwest Finland and Ostrobothnia have been used in this study to map the variations in land organisation that existed before the first enclosure (storskiftet). Settlement structure and land division in particular were found to vary regionally, a fact that can be explained by topographical circumstances but also by the different historical background of the historical provinces. The aim was to distinguish between the cultural influences on the use and ownership of land from Sweden (the west) and Finland (the east) respectively. Through the Swedish colonisation of Finland a feudal social organisation was introduced which affected village organisation all over the investigated area but to a varying degree, resulting in several types of settlements from planned villages with regular strip parcelling to villages developed through piecemeal colonisation and with an unsystematic division of the land.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: December 1, 1998


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