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Defining a DMV

A Deserted Medieval Village, or DMV, is a settlement that was established around the medieval era and eventually became depopulated. Despite the name, the sites of DMVs don’t have to be entirely depopulated for the village to be named deserted. For example, if a settlement once had a population of around 50 individuals living at the site and if this population were to drop to the degree that there were only two scattered farms remaining, it would be fair to assess that village as deserted, as the population has decreased to such a degree that the later residents did not live in a nucleated village, despite living in the same area.
Though DMVs were present in many different landscapes, many DMVs featured crofts which were enveloped by a boundary bank. This bank would separate the village from the open fields that
surrounded it. A full perimeter of these banks would usually embrace the village and clearly identify its boundaries. This structure is common among villages throughout England. This has aided historians and archaeologists in identifying village sites. Identification of a village site can also be aided further by the presence of ridge and furrow at a village site.


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