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The Role of Late Holocene Landscape Evolution in Affecting Settlement Distribution in Borobudur Basin, Central Java, Indonesia

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Human life has never been separated from the interaction with the surrounding physical environment, especially landscape conditions. In this paper, the role of landscape evolution in influencing the distribution of settlements in the Borobudur Basin, is investigated. The data were collected through observations, remote sensing, documentations, and literature studies. The data were analysed using analytical-descriptive analysis and spatial analysis supported by geographic information system (GIS) analysis. GIS analysis employing average nearest neighbour and buffer analysis. The results of this study indicate that the landscape evolution affects the distribution of settlements as a form of community adaptation to physical environmental conditions in the Borobudur Basin. The distribution of settlements can be traced from the time of Hindu-Buddhism based on the existence of past relics in the form of temples. At present time, the settlements are scattered as hamlets which are grouped in several villages in the Borobudur Basin. Based on the existence of 20 temples located next to the ancient river valleys, the distribution of past settlements mainly follows the pattern of river valleys. The pattern of past settlements is random, correlates with the paleochannel distribution pattern which is also random. This is possibly due to the reason of obtaining resources and a factor of belief (faith or reliance). The pattern of the current settlement distribution is spreading and is more evenly distributed in the Borobudur Basin. The settlements develop to a wider area outside the paleochannel, not only limited to the paleochannel. Instead of far more numerous population, this distribution pattern is also caused by landscape changes that enable them to build settlements more widely. In summary, this study provides new insight into evidence of the influence of landscape evolution due to geomorphic processes on the distribution of settlements. Traditional intelligence encourages humans to choose the best location for settlement.

About the Author

Arif Ashari
Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta

Colombo Street 1, Yogyakarta, 55281


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For citations:

Ashari A. The Role of Late Holocene Landscape Evolution in Affecting Settlement Distribution in Borobudur Basin, Central Java, Indonesia. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 2022;15(2):13-22.

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ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1565 (Online)