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Abstract

Scientific research on urban and rural layouts should form an important element of studying the history of cities and villages, something which requires a coordination of multiple disciplines. One must make use of source material, yet be able to tell the difference between the source and its interpretation or critique. The importance of source material varies depending on the period and area in question. When investigating Early Medieval Poland, for instance, one should focus on geological and archeological sources. The later periods show a much larger wealth of written sources and accounts. Beginning from the period of founding cities based on German laws in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, city plans and cartographic sources are of increasing value, as they make it possible to perform modular analyses. The role of iconographic source material increases during from the modern period all the way to our times. The method of research here is the correlation of the information gained from these sources onto modern urban layouts. We can interpret the subsequent phases of development based on this. Using modular analysis we can then identify the historical and agricultural conditions of the time. This research should be conducted by a team of academics from various different fields. An example of such a cooperation is the Atlas Miast Polskich (The Atlas of Polish Cities).
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