De Smedt P., Van Meirvenne M., Herremans D., De Reu J., Saey T., Meerschman E., Crombé P., De Clercq W., 2013. The 3-D reconstruction of medieval wetland reclamation through electromagnetic induction survey. Scientific Reports, 3: 1517.
Abstract: Studies of past human-landscape interactions rely upon the integration of archaeological, biological and geological information within their geographical context. However, detecting the often ephemeral traces of human activities at a landscape scale remains difficult with conventional archaeological field survey. Geophysical methods offer a solution by bridging the gap between point finds and the surrounding landscape, but these surveys often solely target archaeological features. Here we show how simultaneous mapping of multiple physical soil properties with a high resolution multi-receiver electromagnetic induction (EMI) survey permits a reconstruction of the three-dimensional layout and pedological setting of a medieval reclaimed landscape in Flanders (Belgium). Combined with limited and directed excavations, the results offer a unique insight into the way such marginal landscapes were reclaimed and occupied during the Middle Ages. This approach provides a robust foundation for unravelling complex historical landscapes and will enhance our understanding of past human-landscape interactions.