“Systems of settlement over lengthy time spans”


Anne BRETAGNOLLEGéographie-cités (UMR 8504)
Laurent COSTAArScAn : Archéologies et Sciences de l’Antiquité (UMR 7041)
Sandrine ROBERTGéographie-cités (UMR 8504)
Nicolas VERDIERGéographie-cités (UMR 8504)


This Work-Package (WP) addresses two focus areas. The first consists in comparing complex spatio-temporal objects over extended time spans and across space. These objects might be cities, trade networks, borders or regions, for example. Their definitions vary widely, depending on the periods of history, disciplines, cultural spheres, grain of observation, etc. The WP aims to begin by working on anchoring the concepts in a specific historical context and discipline, then compare them with our research practices.

The second focus area consists in linking the concepts to the existing spatio-temporal databases, which are used to analyse the changes in geographical space over extended time spans. Today there are numerous spatial databases available in not only geography but also archaeology and history. This WP proposes to make an inventory of these databases in the form of an observatory, and examine the extent to which LabEx could help online and/or raise the profile of those identified as having strong interdisciplinary potential.

In short, the WP’s task will be to apply the concepts used to study systems of settlement over extended time spans, based on empirical data, and strengthen the ties between geographers and the producers of spatialised historical data through reflexivity and the sharing of spatio-temporal data.


Settlement systems, modelling, databases, interdisciplinarity.


  • SANDERS L., BRETAGNOLLE A., BRUN P., OZOUF-MARIGNIER M.-V., VERDIER N., éd. Les mots-clés des systèmes de peuplement dans le temps long : regards croisés d’archéologues et de géographes. Presses Universitaires François Rabelais, Tours, soumis.