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You are here: home > geotopics > settlements > what do we mean by the site and situation of a settlement?

What is a settlement?
Settlements come in all different shapes, sizes and locations. The function of a settlement can be identified by looking at its shape, size, site and situation.

What do we mean by site and situation of a settlement?

The site and situation of a settlement are very different things. The site of a settlement is the land upon which it was built. There are a range of factors that can determine the site of a settlement. These are:

  • wet point site - these are sites close to a supply of water
  • dry point site - these are sites that avoided the risk of flooding
  • defensive site - these were sites that were on high ground and allowed the inhabitants to see enemies from a distance
  • aspect - many settlements in the northern hemisphere are located on south facing sides of valleys where it is sunny
  • shelter - away from rain and prevailing winds
  • trading point - often settlements developed where natural training points meet such as along rivers or natural route ways
  • resources - many settlements developed close to where natural resources could be found.

The situation of a settlement is its location in relation to surrounding human and physical features. We usually describe the situation when we are telling someone where a settlement is.

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