chapter  1
9 Pages

Introduction

ByMarilyn Silberfein

Rural settlements are also landscape features. They include structures designed primarily to provide for shelter and storage as well as facilities for food preparation and the ancillary activities of the household or the larger community. The theoretical sequencing of settlement from scattered to clustered has been used to support the concept, popular in some development circles, that there is an inevitability about the emergence of clusters, with villages as the natural end-product of an evolutionary process. Cattle keeping has been conducive to dispersal because animals required considerable grazing and water supplies-both of which could be constrained in a village. A village-based family may send selected members to occupy temporary homesteads that are either close to field crops during the period of peak labor demand or that are near a pasture where animals can be supervised. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.