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“To Sea and be Seen: Land Reclamation, Canal Navigation, and the Strategic Building Program at Maillezais Abbey”

Thursday, 04 November, 2010 @ 07:00 PM |

  • Co-sponsored by the Medieval World Studies Minor
  • Featured speaker will be Mickey Abel, Associate Professor, University of North Texas

Physical evidence of a land reclamation process at Maillezais Abbey in the Gulf of Picton of Western France during the ninth to 11th centuries indicates that in building an intricate drainage system, the monks availed themselves of valuable farm and pasture land and created lucrative fisheries and salt farms.

Combining this drainage with a set of canals, locks, and levies, the Duke and Abbot worked together to control access to the inland waterways, thus curtailing destructive incursions at the port, enhancing commercial exchange, and producing tax revenues. The location of the abbey itself was moved to a high hill on the island overlooking the gulf and rebuilt with a tall tower that announced the powerful presence of local defenders to naval intruders.

Categories: Center for the Humanities

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