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.