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2017 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

2. Geocultural Setting

Author: Jeffrey Howard

Published in: Anthropogenic Soils

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

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Abstract

Since ancient times, major impacts of human culture on the landscape have been generally associated with the growth of agriculture and cities. Hence, the nature and global extent of anthropogenic soils is linked to the sociological and geographical aspects of civilization (geocultural setting). The history of anthrosoils can be traced back to the early days of agriculture in the “fertile crescent,” and the first city-based civilization in ancient Mesopotamia about 5000 years ago. Here some of the first anthrosoils were formed as a consequence of long-term horticultural activities and salinization resulting from irrigation. Anthropogenic soils were widely produced as a result of agriculture-induced soil degradation, and partly contributed to the demise of ancient civilizations. The rate of anthrosoil formation began to increase rapidly on a global scale during the 18th century when the Industrial Revolution initiated an ongoing period of exponential population growth and urban expansion. The rates have increased even faster since the end of WWII as a consequence of globalized economies, and the explosive growth in population, industrialization and urbanization.
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Metadata
Title
Geocultural Setting
Author
Jeffrey Howard
Copyright Year
2017
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-54331-4_2