Seasonal Pastoral Settlement in the Lower Mountains of the Auvergne Region (France) During the Medieval and Modern Periods (Thirteenth-Eighteenth Centuries)

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This paper explores the new findings of an ongoing multidisciplinary research project involving archaeology, archival research and paleo-environmental study of habitation and land usage patterns in the lower mountains of the Auvergne (France) during the medieval–modern transition period. Prior to this project’s inception in 2000, no large-scale archaeological survey or excavations in the rural uplands of the Cantal or Sancy Mountains in the Auvergne had ever taken place. The authors examine a previously unknown transition from permanent settlement to seasonal usage that took place at the end of the medieval period and how this economic shift is reflected by the architecture and the arrangement of settlements as well as in changes in the usage of the landscape.