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Conquests and land degradation in th eastern Maghreb during classical antiquity and the Middle Ages

Abstract : In the eastern Maghreb during classical antiquity and the Middle Ages, fluctuations in geosystems and, in particular, increases in soil erosion can be seen to have reflected specific combinations of climatic change and human activities. A climatic fluctuation that increases the intensity of rains, ot the annual amount of precipitation, affects slopes only if they have been made vulnerable by vegetation degradation or by cultivation systems that have not been designed to counteract erosion. This was the case in the study area during the Roman period. On the other hand, periods of conquest generally seem to have been characterized by a contraction of the cultivated surface and a progressive development of "natural" vegetation or of pastures that limited soil erosion. This may have been the situation in the case of the nomadic Hilalian shepherds of the Arab conquest. However, there were exceptions to these trends, in particular in the irrigated zones and in the terraced mountains.
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Contributor : Jean-Louis Ballais <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, July 26, 2017 - 1:56:33 PM
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Jean-Louis Ballais. Conquests and land degradation in th eastern Maghreb during classical antiquity and the Middle Ages. G. Barker, D. Gilbertson. The Archaeology of Drylands, Routledge, pp.125-136, 2000. ⟨hal-01569166⟩

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