, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 71-72
Date: 14 Oct 2011

Editorial

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Our second issue of 2011, which includes four articles presented at the Water History conference in Delft, the Netherlands, in June 2010, focuses on this relationship between history and science. Each draws upon both historical sources and various scientific approaches to examine the dynamic relationship between humans and water.

In the first contribution, Jongepier, Soens, Thoen, Van Eetvelde, Crombé and Bats take us to Northern Flanders to weigh in on the ‘peat debate’ between geoscientists and historians. While the importance of peat as a source of energy during the medieval and early modern period is well known, questions remain as to their exact location and size. Today, the marshes have completely disappeared. Jongepier et al. present a story of the continuing debate between geoscientists, who rely on ‘positive’ soil evidence, and historians, who draw upon ‘circumstantial’ historical data. The authors find a synthesis between these two positions in recent methodological advances,