So the “10% urban population; Hamlet is an urban settlement of up to 74 families (390 people)” on page 231 of the rules doesn’t quite sit right with me.
It feels to me as if scattered farmsteads is more a American pioneer trope than a Medieval Europe or Antiquity pattern, and that most of the population ought to be in hamlets. What I’ve skimmed of scholarly articles on the net suggests that ACKS is perhaps appropriate for some areas in antiquity and that my reflex is more Medieval - or mid-/late-Roman (villas?).
So, what caused Autarch to construct the rules the way you did?
- Settlement patterns as well as village plans in England fall into two great categories: scattered farms and homesteads in upland and woodland Britain, nucleated villages across a swathe of central England. The chronology of nucleated villages is much debated and not yet clear. Yet there is strong evidence to support the view that nucleation occurred in the tenth century or perhaps the ninth, and was a development parallel to the growth of towns. (The following paragraphs of the article are a really interesting discussion.)
- How and why the dispersed settlement pattern of the Roman period changes to one of nucleated villages by the 9th or 10th century is poorly understood in the North Midlands and southern Yorkshire and yet is fundamental to understanding the character of the landscape we see today. There are several deserted and shrunken medieval villages in the study area and we will continue with our investigations of some of these. Another focus of the project is the development of the formal, designed landscapes around the many country houses in the area (including Brodsworth, Hickleton, and Hooton Pagnell Halls). The transition from medieval village to post-medieval country house estate is not understood and here we have an excellent opportunity to explore the origins and impacts of this process.
- In Villa to Village Riccardo Francovich and Richard Hodges challenge the historical view that hilltop villages in Italy were first founded in the tenth century. Drawing upon evidence from recent excavations, the authors show that the making of the medieval village lie earlier, in the demise of the Roman villa in late antiquity.
- ...the patterns of village morphology and the diversity of material culture characteristic of the half millennium until the Renaissance are highly variegated.
Edit: format fix.