Thomas J, Simpson I & Davidson D (2008) GIS mapping of anthropogenic soils in Scotland: investigating the location and vulnerability of Scottish plagen-type soils. Atti della Societa Toscana di Scienze Naturali - Memorie serie A, 112, pp. 85-90. http://www.stsn.it/serAvolCXII.htm
Research has demonstrated that «plaggen» soils – anthropogenic deposits, sometimes over 1 m thick, resulting from sustained manuring over long periods – retain significant archaeological information from which early arable land management practices can be interpreted. However, as areas of enhanced fertility, plaggen-type soils attract intensive modernday agricultural activity. This paper presents the first phase of a project which aims to a. investigate the distribution of plaggen-type topsoils throughout Scotland and b. establish the impact of present-day land management, and the diversity of modern land cover, on the retention of this soil-based cultural record. An ArcView GIS database has collated relevant historical, geographical and archaeological information, creating a map indicating areas with a strong likelihood of anthropogenic deep topsoil deposits. Survey through these areas has identified sample sites for modern impact study, while this unique database explores the historic, economic and geographical factors influencing the formation of these soils in Scotland.
anthrosols; plaggen; land management; GIS; Scotland
Atti della Societa Toscana di Scienze Naturali - Memorie serie A: Volume 112