Originally published 01/20/2013
The hedge around your house is much more than just a random shrub with green leaves. It’s a symbol of private property and marks the boundary between what’s mine and what’s yours.The idea to enclose and define with straight lines is actually an ancient one.Some of the first archaeological evidence of landscape boundaries dates back to England around 1,500 BC, but 500 years later it also appears in the rest of Northwestern Europe.“From being a predominantly open landscape with large commons with scattered trees and bushes, the landscape became dominated by linear demarcation lines. People started to enclose their fields and suddenly started building embankments and trenches around their houses and villages,” says PhD student Mette Løvschal, who works at Aarhus University’s Department of Culture and Society – Section for Prehistoric Archaeology, where she is using archaeological finds and anthropological theories to try and solve the riddle of when, how and why we suddenly started enclosing what was ours....
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