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cultural hearth

  The area of origin of a cultural group involved in creating a cultural landscape. The concept is associated with Carl Sauer (1969) and the Berkeley School: the hearth is the core area in a diffusion process whereby new cultural practices are spread, through human agency, to create new cultural regions. Sauer (1952) argued that cultural hearths emerge through a combination of especially favourable circumstances, reflecting the local natural resources, and that such locations were very few, and hence of critical importance in the evolution of cultural landscapes:

In the history of man, unless I misread it greatly, diffusion of ideas from a few hearths has been the rule: independent, parallel invention the exception. (RJJ) References Sauer, C.O. 1952: Agricultural origins and dispersal. New York: American Geographical Society. Sauer, C.O. 1969: Seeds, spades, hearths and herds: the domestication of animals and foodstuffs. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.



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Other Terms : indeterminacy | squatter settlement | extensive agriculture
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