Sequent Occupance

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					            Sequent Occupance
The term "sequent occupance" was coined in 1929 by American
         geographer Derwent Whittlesey to describe:

      “the process by which a landscape is
     gradually transformed by a succession
     of occupying populations, each of
     which modifies the landscape left by
     the previous groups”
So in other words:

The seeds of change are within a place:
Determined by:

Environment               and    Culture
Associated Ideas:
culture is affected by the environment, but the environment does
not determine culture (vs. environmental determinism)
places change because a culture develops or a new culture
dominates the landscape
the comparative advantage of a place can be used again and
again, regardless of the historical experience of a place
Older construction/use can be benefit or a detriment to a site
     So do people live in the same places?
Suggestions for answering this question?
        historical evidence               maps
        literature                        archeology
Where should you look for sequent occupance?
Site Characteristics              Almost anywhere people now live

Associated Questions:
What are benefits of occupying a place that had been inhabited?
What are detriments of occupying a place that had been inhabited?
Does the conqueror or conquered shape the culture/site most?
Would you find cultural traits for a specific place, regardless of cultural change?
                  Site Characteristics
Comparative Advantage: the idea that a place
                                               Of the places people live, many
has certain advantages (relative and/or
                                               tend to on rivers. The best place
absolute) over other places.
                                               to find old large cities is just before
                                               you reach the delta. Name a city
                                               with this site characteristic.
                                               Why don’t people live in deltas?
                                               Another place is where two rivers
                                               meet. Why is this a comparative
                                               Shallow places on rivers allow
                                               people to ford (cross) the river.
                                               Towns often form there because it
                                               is a good place to cross.

                                               Ports are places that have deep
                                               water so it is easy to get out to
                                               sea. Often they are in protected
                                               places called harbors.
This flowchart that attempts
to determine comparative
Site             Characteristics
Defensive        Difficult to attack e.g. hill-top or island

Hill-foot        Sheltered, with flat land for building and farming

Gap              Lower, more sheltered land between two hills
Wet point        Close to water in a dry area
                 On higher, dry area close to wet land e.g. marshes or
Dry point
                 flooding rivers

Route centre     Focus of routes (e.g. roads) from surrounding area

Bridging point   Where bridges can be built over a river

 Locate the sites by
The importance of individual site features changes through time: In Early
Times (before 1800)
 Feature                 Reason / example
 Good defence            Hard to attack e.g. hill top, island
 Close to water          For water and fish supplies
 Close to woodland       For fuel, building materials and food
 On useful farmland      To provide food
 Flat land               Makes building easier
 Good communications     By road and river

In Later Times (after 1800), other features became important when
considering the site of a settlement

 Feature                Reason / example
 Close to resources     As raw materials for industry e.g. limestone or coal
 Close to ports         To transport raw materials or goods
                        As industry grew and developed e.g. canals, railways and
 Faster communication
                        more recently, motorways and airports.
                        For a) larger number of retired people and b) hi-tech
 Pleasant environment
                        industries which wish to locate in attractive areas
    Culture Hearth
a culture hearth is a source area,
   innovation center, a place of
     origin of a major culture

Nile Valley
Map of Ancient Egypt and modern
view from space at night

Notice how easy it is to see the Nile River by its
electric using population. How did/does this river
impact its surrounding cultures?
What areas seem less inhabited? Why?
                                   The Temple
                                    of Luxor
This temple completed by

Tutankhamun and Horemheb and
added to by Ramses II. Towards
the rear is a granite shrine
dedicated to Alexander the Great.
During the Christian Era it was
converted to a church. The
Romans even built fortifications
on the site.
Most of the site was buried for
thousands of year until the
mosque of Sufi Shaykh Yusuf Abu
al-Hajjaj was built on top of it.
Since the mosque is still being
used this site has long been a
center of religious worship for
more than 3000 years.

This is a market scene from a stela in Luxor.
Identify activities that would be in a commercial setting today.


In 79 CE Vesuvius erupted for approximately 19 hours and dumped a cubic
mile of lava and ash over the surrounding area. Herculaneum, which was
covered by lava, and Pompeii, blanketed in ash, are the best known cities that
were destroyed. It has erupted many times since, however people have
continued to live not just in the vicinity, they have built over an ancient city that
was covered with lava.
Inside the crater


             Scars from last major lava flow (1964)

  Modern city of

 Top of lava plain

 Excavated Roman
city of Herculaneum
Modern Ercolano   edge of lava plain   Vesuvius
Wood left from 79 CE. Since the city was covered with lava, oxygen and biological life
that helps decay could not break it down. Notice the charring from the intense heat.
Vesuvius overlooking the Roman forum at Pompeii.
A grim reminder of volcanic activity on the human form.
This is a Roman villa that is being reconstructed in Oplanati. Notice the edge of the lava
plain on the right side of the picture and the modern city built on the plain.
In earlier times parchment was used
as we use paper today. Parchment is
made from either the skin of calves,
sheep, or goats, and was expensive
to make. A palimpsest was basically
recycled parchment that someone
had scraped off the ink and then
wrote on for a second (or even third
or fourth) time (see picture on the

In similar fashion often people reuse
or change places on the planet. Just
like the old parchment, traces of
earlier use can be detected.
Geographers use this term to
describe the traces of earlier cultural
landscape at a location.
Many of the world’s major cities have
palimpsests. Rome for example would
have the Pantheon (top right), the
forum (bottom right) and the Coliseum
(above) in the heart of the modern city.
Athens, looking up to the Acropolis and
looking down into the city. Some of the
palimpsest aren’t ancient like the site of the
first modern Olympics, which was cut off so
they could build a road.
              a look at infrastructure
                          In 1342 the mounds located on either
                          side of the river Amstel were raised and
                          extended, the initial stage in the growth
                          of medieval Amsterdam.

                                             Amsterdam after 1425

Amsterdam after 1340
 after 1425   M   after 1585

after 1585
              D   after 1613

after 1613

  Amsterdam              Map by Blaeu (1640)
  after 1663

               For the most part, what look like roads on
               this map are canals. Canals were common
               in great cities until the last 200 years.

               What revolution changed this infrastructure?
Map by Nicolaas Visscher (approx. 1680)
                Can you spot the

Does this
contain still
Well yes,

Present day
NZ Voorburgwal then             NZ Voorburgwal now

Warmoesgracht then
                      and no.   Warmoesgracht now
       Changing of Chicago
The two city models used to describe early 20th century American
  cities show changes brought on by transportation systems.
        Military Base Conversions
During World War I and II Florida was the site of many
training bases. There were site characteristics that
made Florida attractive especially to flight training.
First, Florida is flat, which means no mountains to hit.
Second, there is a lot of water, an attractive alternative
to hitting the ground if something goes wrong. Third,
there wasn’t a whole lot of population, so you had a
choice of emergency landing sites and little population
pressure. Finally, Florida’s government has always
encouraged anyone to come to Florida that has money
and often turns its back on things that may upset the
environment or become problems later.
                        Three shapes of military airfields
                        used in WW 2. The earliest type, left
                        over from when planes were
Though it was flat
there were mishaps,
                        constructed of wood and canvas,
Arcadia WW1 top,        used the X-shape to take advantage
Carlstrom (Arcadia
in WW 2) left, and a
                        of wind. Many of these were never
typical scene at one    paved. The middle design is
of the training bases
(Marianna) in WW2.
                        common to airfields built by the Navy
                        in WW 2 and the design on the right
                        was common to Army Air Corps (now
                        the USAF). Generally, airfields grew
                        in length as planes became larger
                        and heavier.
What became of the bases?

 Opa-locka, site during WW2. Notice that it incorporates the
 early and Navy design. Key West which was occupied by the
 government during WW2.
Some of course are still airfields but
  many changed due to demand.

               Top Left: Witham Field in
               Stuart, Left: Del Mabry Field,
               now TCC in Tallahassee,
               Above: Bush Gardens was once
               Henderson Field the biggest
               airport in Tampa
                                         Daytona Naval Airbase was
                                         converted to the Daytona
                                         Speedway, replacing the
                                         traditional beach racetrack.

What types of infrastructure would make a base
an attractive place to convert to another usage?
Electric Lines                       Roads
            Water and Sewage Systems

  What would be a detriment to using an old military site?
      Gifts from Above

                                                                 Flagler Estates

Odyssey Middle School was built on the
northern portion of the Pinecastle Jeep
bombing range. Among the munitions
discovered in 2008:                       11 4.5-5-inch air-to-ground rockets
1 100-lb. concrete bomb                   3 incendiary bombs
19 100-lb. M75 bombs                      10 rifle grenades
99 23-lb. fragmentation bombs             35 M54 bombs
12 20-lb. fragmentation bombs             1 antitank rocket with detonator
To Review:
• What is sequent occupance?
  – Is it something new?
  – What are site characteristics that make some
    places more likely to be converted?
  – In the modern world, what types of infrastructure
    would make a place more likely to be converted to a
    new use?
  – Name some cities that have palimpsests.
  – Give examples of local sites that have been
    converted to a new use.
         Vocabulary Concepts
• Comparative Advantage

• Palimpsest

• Infrastructure

• Bid rent

• Concentric Zone model and Sector model

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