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In this study Roland Fletcher argues that the built environment becomes a constraint on long-term settlement development. He reviews worldwide settlement growth over the past 15,000 years in the light of the limits imposed by buildings, layouts and forms of communication, and concludes with a major discussion of the great transformations of human settlements--from mobile to sedentary, sedentary to urban, and urban to industrial. This ambitious contribution to archaeological theory has implications for the future of urban settlement.
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