La Grande Brenne aux périodes préindustrielles (Indre). Contribution à l'histoire des paysages, des étangs et des relations sociétés/milieux dans une zone humide continentale. Approches historique, archéologique et paléo-environnementale

Abstract : “La Grande Brenne”, a 520 km² fish farming region situated in “Indre”, is a wetland of major ecological interest. Our goal is to add some information about the history of fishponds, its territory, its population and about the relationships between its society and its environment which have led to the creation of its emblematic landscape. A global approach was favoured, integrating in a long chronological part, the combined use of writings, archaeological and paleoenvironmental (palynology, dendrochronology) facts. The choice of fish farming in fishponds from the Middle-Ages was indeed a societal answer to the local environmental pressures but it is also part of the economic processes of the time. The activity was developed between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. This movement was not only carried out by the rural upper class but also by the working and middle classes. It actually dates back from the increase in the food demand by the urban population and probably in the introduction of an innovating product: the Danubian carp. Researches have revealed an archaeological heritage dominated by the activities in siderurgy during pre-medieval time. We suppose that there used to be an ancient mining district. Moreover, palynological facts show the presence, at this time, of a more wooded environment than today. The humidity of the area, which was maybe favoured by the medieval deforestation, was strongly increased by the embanking of the water system and linked to the creation of fishponds. Therefore, “La Brenne” can be qualified as an artificial wetland which was formed during historical times.
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Renaud Benarrous. La Grande Brenne aux périodes préindustrielles (Indre). Contribution à l'histoire des paysages, des étangs et des relations sociétés/milieux dans une zone humide continentale. Approches historique, archéologique et paléo-environnementale. Sciences de l'Homme et Société. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, 2009. Français. ⟨tel-00575810⟩

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