DBPapers
DOI: 10.5593/SGEM2015/B32/S13.044

SPATIAL VARIABILITY OF SOIL PROPERTIES IN AREAS AFFECTED BY PREHISTORIC HUMAN OCCUPATION

R. G. Pirnau, C. V. Patriche, B. Rosca, I. Vasiliniuc, A. Asandulesei
Thursday 24 September 2015 by Libadmin2015

References: 15th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2015, www.sgem.org, SGEM2015 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-37-7 / ISSN 1314-2704, June 18-24, 2015, Book3 Vol. 2, 325-332 pp

ABSTRACT
Human influence on soils has increased in the last two centuries, but the beginning of this process took place millennia ago with the occurrence of permanent settlements and agricultural practices specific to Early Neolithic. Therefore, in order to understand how soils function and develop over human timescales, soil science is challenged to integrate past human activities in the soil continuum, and to consider humanity as an integral part of the soil system. Our investigation was carried out within a study area of about 125 km2, with a high density of prehistoric settlements located in the Moldavian Plateau, northeastern part of Romania. The area is covered by detailed soil studies from which the soil attributes included in the database were extracted. Terrain attributes derived from 10-m resolution DEM were used to analyze the landscape features in relation with soil properties distribution and settlements patterns. In order to derive continuous maps of soil variables several statistical methods were tested. Spatial models were computed for soil parameters which are indicators for long term occupation and it was found that generally the regression-kriging approach produces more realistic spatial models compared to the other tested methods. The spatial distributions of soil properties, especially in the case of available phosphorus and potassium, displayed several anomalies, most of them being found near archaeological sites, and it is assumed that a part of these may be related to the historical use of the soils.

Keywords: pedology, archaeology, spatial statistics, Eneolithic, GIS.

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