We analyzed the isotopic (13C and 15N) composition of a polycyclic terraced soil located in Santiago de Compostela (NW Spain) and compared it with previous results on total aluminum, iron and silicon and their fractionation by selective dissolution techniques. The aim was to recognize the imprints of land management changes, with particular attention to fertilization techniques applied during the use history of the terrace (~1600 y). The buried paleosol, found below the terraced layers, is considered to preserve the soil properties prior to the terrace construction. The isotopic composition (13C, 15N) provided evidence of extensive land use previous to the construction of the terrace, with the utilization of fire as liming and clearance tool. In the Late Antiquity and Early Medieval Ages the soil use was more intense and amendments with vegetal remains from nitrogen fixing shrubs were likely applied. Since the Early Middle Ages, animal wastes were used as a way to maintain or increase soil fertility because of an intensification of the agrarian use.
|Translated title of the contribution||Deciphering the evolution of agrarian technologies during the last ~1600 years using the isotopic fingerprint (δ13C, δ15N) of a polycyclic terraced soil|
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Estudos do Quaternario|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
- Isotopic composition
- Middle ages
- Soil management