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When is a terrace not a terrace? The importance of understanding landscape evolution in studies of terraced agriculture

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When is a terrace not a terrace? The importance of understanding landscape evolution in studies of terraced agriculture. / Ferro Vazquez, Maria De La Cruz; Lang, Carol; Kaal, Joeri; Stump, Daryl.

In: Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 202, No. 3, 01.11.2017, p. 500-513.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Harvard

Ferro Vazquez, MDLC, Lang, C, Kaal, J & Stump, D 2017, 'When is a terrace not a terrace? The importance of understanding landscape evolution in studies of terraced agriculture', Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 202, no. 3, pp. 500-513. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.01.036

APA

Ferro Vazquez, M. D. L. C., Lang, C., Kaal, J., & Stump, D. (2017). When is a terrace not a terrace? The importance of understanding landscape evolution in studies of terraced agriculture. Journal of Environmental Management, 202(3), 500-513. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.01.036

Vancouver

Ferro Vazquez MDLC, Lang C, Kaal J, Stump D. When is a terrace not a terrace? The importance of understanding landscape evolution in studies of terraced agriculture. Journal of Environmental Management. 2017 Nov 1;202(3):500-513. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.01.036

Author

Ferro Vazquez, Maria De La Cruz ; Lang, Carol ; Kaal, Joeri ; Stump, Daryl. / When is a terrace not a terrace? The importance of understanding landscape evolution in studies of terraced agriculture. In: Journal of Environmental Management. 2017 ; Vol. 202, No. 3. pp. 500-513.

Bibtex - Download

@article{2a435ea5147d4e8bb7eb37f80d8af340,
title = "When is a terrace not a terrace? The importance of understanding landscape evolution in studies of terraced agriculture",
abstract = "Before the invention of modern, large-scale engineering projects, terrace systems were rarely built in single phases of construction, but instead developed gradually, and could even be said to have evolved. Understanding this process of landscape change is therefore important in order to fully appreciate how terrace systems were built and functioned, and is also pivotal to understanding how the communities that farmed these systems responded to changes; whether these are changes to the landscape brought about by the farming practices themselves, or changes to social, economic or climatic conditions. Combining archaeological stratigraphy, soil micromorphology and geochemistry, this paper presents a case-study from the historic and extensive terraced landscape at Konso, southwest Ethiopia, and demonstrates e in one important river valley at least e that the original topsoil and much of the subsoil was lost prior to the construction of hillside terraces. Moreover, the study shows that alluvial sediment traps that were built adjacent to rivers relied on widespread hillside soil erosion for their construction, and strongly suggests that these irrigated riverside fields were formerly a higher economic priority than the hillside terraces themselves; a possibility that was not recognised by numerous observational studies of farming in this landscape. Research that takes into account how terrace systems change through time can thus provide important details of whether the function of the system has changed, and can help assesshow the legacies of former practices impact current or future cultivation.",
keywords = "Agriculture, Archaeology, Land management, Landscape evolution, Terraces",
author = "{Ferro Vazquez}, {Maria De La Cruz} and Carol Lang and Joeri Kaal and Daryl Stump",
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year = "2017",
month = nov,
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.01.036",
language = "English",
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journal = "Journal of Environmental Management",
issn = "0301-4797",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
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RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - When is a terrace not a terrace? The importance of understanding landscape evolution in studies of terraced agriculture

AU - Ferro Vazquez, Maria De La Cruz

AU - Lang, Carol

AU - Kaal, Joeri

AU - Stump, Daryl

N1 - © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy.

PY - 2017/11/1

Y1 - 2017/11/1

N2 - Before the invention of modern, large-scale engineering projects, terrace systems were rarely built in single phases of construction, but instead developed gradually, and could even be said to have evolved. Understanding this process of landscape change is therefore important in order to fully appreciate how terrace systems were built and functioned, and is also pivotal to understanding how the communities that farmed these systems responded to changes; whether these are changes to the landscape brought about by the farming practices themselves, or changes to social, economic or climatic conditions. Combining archaeological stratigraphy, soil micromorphology and geochemistry, this paper presents a case-study from the historic and extensive terraced landscape at Konso, southwest Ethiopia, and demonstrates e in one important river valley at least e that the original topsoil and much of the subsoil was lost prior to the construction of hillside terraces. Moreover, the study shows that alluvial sediment traps that were built adjacent to rivers relied on widespread hillside soil erosion for their construction, and strongly suggests that these irrigated riverside fields were formerly a higher economic priority than the hillside terraces themselves; a possibility that was not recognised by numerous observational studies of farming in this landscape. Research that takes into account how terrace systems change through time can thus provide important details of whether the function of the system has changed, and can help assesshow the legacies of former practices impact current or future cultivation.

AB - Before the invention of modern, large-scale engineering projects, terrace systems were rarely built in single phases of construction, but instead developed gradually, and could even be said to have evolved. Understanding this process of landscape change is therefore important in order to fully appreciate how terrace systems were built and functioned, and is also pivotal to understanding how the communities that farmed these systems responded to changes; whether these are changes to the landscape brought about by the farming practices themselves, or changes to social, economic or climatic conditions. Combining archaeological stratigraphy, soil micromorphology and geochemistry, this paper presents a case-study from the historic and extensive terraced landscape at Konso, southwest Ethiopia, and demonstrates e in one important river valley at least e that the original topsoil and much of the subsoil was lost prior to the construction of hillside terraces. Moreover, the study shows that alluvial sediment traps that were built adjacent to rivers relied on widespread hillside soil erosion for their construction, and strongly suggests that these irrigated riverside fields were formerly a higher economic priority than the hillside terraces themselves; a possibility that was not recognised by numerous observational studies of farming in this landscape. Research that takes into account how terrace systems change through time can thus provide important details of whether the function of the system has changed, and can help assesshow the legacies of former practices impact current or future cultivation.

KW - Agriculture

KW - Archaeology

KW - Land management

KW - Landscape evolution

KW - Terraces

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U2 - 10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.01.036

DO - 10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.01.036

M3 - Article

VL - 202

SP - 500

EP - 513

JO - Journal of Environmental Management

JF - Journal of Environmental Management

SN - 0301-4797

IS - 3

ER -