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Human Geography – Settlement – site, situation & function Chapter 4

Human Geography – Settlement – site, situation & function Chapter 4. Early Settlement. Evidence from past settlement: 1. The Middle Stone Age Middens – Nomadic hunters threw away the shells & animal bones in rubbish heaps called middends. 2. The New Stone Age Passage graves & Dolmens

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Human Geography – Settlement – site, situation & function Chapter 4

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  1. Human Geography –Settlement – site, situation & functionChapter 4

  2. Early Settlement • Evidence from past settlement: • 1. The Middle Stone Age • Middens – Nomadic hunters threw away the shells & animal bones in rubbish heaps called middends. • 2. The New Stone Age • Passage graves & Dolmens • 3. The Bronze Age • Fulacht fia and standing stones • 4. Celtic Settlement. • Ring forts, hill forts, crannogs.

  3. Historic Settlement • Christian Settlement: • 5th and 6th centuries – Monasteries and round towers - Glendalough • Viking settlement: • The 9th century – coastal towns – Waterford. • Norman settlement: • From the late 12th century – Castles – Trim, Kilkenny. • Plantation settlements: • 16th and 17th century – English & Scottish settlers – Derry, Coleraine • Landlord towns • 18th century – settlements beside landlord estates – Westport, Birr. • New towns • Second half of 20th century – Adamstown, Tallaght, Lucan Clondalkin.

  4. Settlement – Site & Situation • Site: • The site refers to the land on which the settlement was built. For instance, settlers chose sites that were free from flooding, fairly level and close to water supply. • Situation: • The situation refers to its location in relation to the landscape around it – a river valley, a sheltered bay, at a bridge point.

  5. Changes in the functions of urban centres overtime • A urban centre may begin as a port or as a mining settlement, however as it grows it gets other functions. • These functions may include residential, commercial, transport and other service functions. • Former functions may cease, for example when a mine stops operating. • See the hand-out case study on and Question: • Galway city: Change in function over time

  6. Rural Settlement Patterns 1. Clustered/nucleated pattern: 2. Dispersed pattern: 3. Linear and ribbon pattern: 4.Absence of settlement: Explain each settlement pattern above.

  7. Central Place Theory Walter Cristaller – German geographer (1930s) devised theory Central place shows how settlements are located in relation to each other. Central places may be villages, towns or cities

  8. Central Place Theory The hierarchy of a country’s urban system is arranged like pyramid with a small number of cities on the top and a large number of villages on the bottom;

  9. Central Place Theory Hinterland: This is the area surrounding the central place. Customers who get goods and services of a central place live in the hinterland. Hinterlands that have circular shapes are not satisfactory. When central places are too close together, hinterlands overlap with each other and when towns are too far apart , some areas between the circle are not served

  10. Central Place Theory Hinterland: Hexagonal shapes are more preferable than circular

  11. Central Place Theory Range: • This is the distance people are prepared to travel for goods and services. People are not prepared to travel far for goods they need frequently. • People will travel further for middle order goods and services, such as clothing and hairdressers • - They will travel further still for higher order goods and services, such as new cars, laptops.

  12. Central Place Theory Cities - High-order goods & services: Universities, large hospitals, radio TV stations, department stores Large towns-Middle – order goods & services: Banks, third level institutions, hospitals Small towns-Lower-order goods & services: Secondary schools, supermarkets, Doctors Small villages-Lower-order goods & services : Churches, post office, primary schools, pubs • Gives examples of goods and services in each category.

  13. Central Place Theory Threshold:this is the minimum number of customers needed to maintain a service, i.e. the size of the market. • Low threshold: Grocery store • High threshold: Pharmacy • Explain why the two examples above are in each category and give two more examples from each.

  14. Central Place Theory • Conclusions: • Small urban settlements greatly outnumber large urban settlements. • Small settlements such as villages have small hinterlands. Goods sold in village shops have a low range and low threshold. • Large urban centres such as Galway have large hinterlands. • Large towns provide a greater variety of goods and services than small towns. The goods and services in a large town have a high range and high threshold.

  15. Central Place Theory • Weaknesses of theory: - Cristaller based his theory on the population being evenly distributed over a plain where transport links to market centres are the same. Distribution of central places is changed by several factors: • Physical factors prevent even distribution – Mts, lakes • Urban settlements develop because of local resources • People do not always behave rationally when buying goods and services. They like novelty and change. • Modern transport facilities give the advantage to larger settlements.

  16. Revision Questions • List as many historic settlements as you can and give examples of each. • Explain the difference between site and situation. • List the functions of a town/city. • Explain the 4 types of rural settlement. • What is the central place theory and who devised it • Explain the hinterland, range and threshold in relation to the central place theory. • Explain some weaknesses of the theory.

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