Described in Nature as 'a delight for the soil aficionado', this multi-authored collection examines the complex interrelations between societies in different parts of the world and the soils they relied on from the perspectives of geomorphology, archaeology, pedology and history. The geographical spread includes Mesoamerica, Africa, Europe, Australia, India and Easter Island. Few things are more important to human survival than the fertility of the soils from which so much of our food comes. Yet few aspects of the relationship between human society and the environment get so little attention. This book explores some of the enormous variety in the ways that people have worked with, thought about, damaged and restored soils. It also shows some of the ways in which soils, their properties and their histories have influenced human affairs. Soils are the substrate of all human society: from the palaeolithic to the present, their history is our history
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J.R. McNeill Professor of Environmental History at Georgetown University. Verena Winiwarter is Professor of Environmental History at the Institute of Social Ecology, University of ViennaReview:
'This collection covers new ground. It is unique in terms of combining geomorphology, archaeology and history as well as in the choice of its study regions. The chapters contribute over a great geographical span to a fuller understanding of the intricate web of relations between soils and humans.' (Prof. Winfried E.H. Blum, President, European Confederation of Soil Science Societies and Former Secretary General, International Union of Soil Sciences)
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