Terroir and Humanity

Neat thoughts. Go take a look.

The Goblin Chief

This is one of several natural springs which drain together to form the Danube. This is one of several natural springs which drain together to form the Danube.

We’re doing a history unit on the pre-Roman Celts (a bit deep for 2nd and 3rd graders, I know) and what’s struck me about them is their powerful sense of place. Few things were sacred except places. The Celts first emerged as a distinct people in the headwaters of the Danube, in what is now the Black Forest of Germany. The Danube gets its name from Danu, the mother/water goddess whose waters flowed out from within the earth in the time of primordial chaos. Her waters nourished Bile, the sacred oak, from which sprang the gods and goddesses. From Dyaus, the bright-one, sprang (they believed) the Celts themselves.

In pre-modern times, situating a house relative to water was absolutely crucial. Ben Falk has a wonderful discussion of how do analyze a site’s hydrology before building in…

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