Les rideaux de cultures médiévales épousent les courbes de niveaux curvilignes. Sur le côté gauche, on discerne une motte castrale. Belleville-sur-Mer (Seine-Maritime).

Anomalies in the landscape reveal the retrenchments that took place in the Early Middle Ages, the reorganization of oppida (Estrun-sur-Escaut, Pas-de-Calais), which sometimes involved the creation of a feudal mound (L'Étoile and La Cheppe), or later fortresses like at Boismont (Somme).

Photographs of surviving feudal mounds, are of interest, even though one needs to wait for excavations or — unfortunately — earthworks due to land consolidations to reveal the previous seigneurial dwellings such as at Ablaincourt (Somme). These feudal mounds, — as much symbols of power as they were defensive systems — played, along with their church, an important role in the establishing of habitation and the formation of the villages of France. Everything took shape starting in the ninth or tenth century, with the grouping of people and the constitution of village lands around these sedentary rural populations (who represented 90 to 95% of the population at the time).

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À Ablaincourt (Somme), le village s'est constitué autour de la basse cour dont la motte castrale vient d'être arasée. On distingue alors l'aula qui l'a précédée.

À Buire-le-Sec (Pas-de-Calais), le village s'est moulé contre la motte castrale et sa basse cour, bien visibles grâce à un éclairage frisant à contre-jour

Certain historians claim that a number of villages came into being only after the great land-clearings of the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, under the initiative of the feudal lords; our current landscape was thus constituted. Nevertheless, like in England, in the aftermath of the great plague epidemics there were no habitations that were totally abandoned and fossilized along with their land allotments. Only a few surviving cases of medieval land distribution can be occasionally seen, like the one at Criel-sur-Mer, for example, or at Belleville-sur-Mer (Seine-Maritime).