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Durham University

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Publication details for Professor Mike Church

Edwards, K J, Borthwick, D, Cook, G T, Dugmore, A J, Mairs, K-A, Church, M J, Simpson, I A & Adderley, W P (2005). A hypothesis-based approach to landscape change in Suðoroy, Faroe Islands. Human Ecology 33(5): 621-650.

Author(s) from Durham


Hovsdalur, an area delimited by the great cirques of upland central
Su uroy, draining into the valley of the Hovs´a and terminating in the east
at the coastal amphitheatre of Hovsfjørdur, is a microcosm of the Faroes. The area contains the physical and economic features which characterize the greater part of the island group—mountain, valley, and coast, and marine, cultivation, and grazing environments. Data comprising mainly geomorphological,palynological, and pedological evidence, covering the period prior to and subsequent to the initial Norse settlement (landnam), are used to test a series of hypotheses which exemplify the human ecology of the area. Not all the hypotheses, or aspects of them, proved acceptable—the Norse period clearly coincided with a number of vegetational and pedological changes, but this must be set partly against a backdrop of long-term geomorphological