Article

The chronology of anthropogenic soil formation in Orkney

Citation

Simpson I (1993) The chronology of anthropogenic soil formation in Orkney. Scottish Geographical Magazine, 109 (1), pp. 4-11. https://doi.org/10.1080/00369229318736870

Abstract
Anthropogenic deep top soils in Orkney, formed by the process of ‘plaggen' manuring, are dated by their association with settlements of known cultural age and by radiocarbon. On the basis of these methodologies, the initiation of deep top‐soil formation is dated to the mid to late Norse period. Possible reasons for the initiation of deep top‐soil formation include the introduction of the ‘plaggen' manuring technique by monastic settlement and the need to sustain increasing population levels. Formation of these soils continued until the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries when new methods of maintaining arable soil fertility were introduced.

Keywords
Orkney; Anthropogenic soils; Dating

Journal
Scottish Geographical Magazine: Volume 109, Issue 1

StatusPublished
Publication date30/04/1993
PublisherTaylor and Francis
ISSN0036-9225