Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A study of the field design and soil properties of agricultural terraces at the Qasr Tilah archaeological site in the Wadi 'Arabah, Jordan
by Rice, Amy Diane, M.S., University of Missouri - Kansas City, 2010, 170; 1485865
Abstract (Summary)

Qasr Tilah, located at a hyperarid site 25 km south of the Dead Sea, Jordan, consists of ruins from the 1st to 7th centuries CE. This study focuses on the ancient agricultural fields through GIS-mapping, field wall excavations, and soil pits. The rectangular pattern of terraced fields is constructed of limestone boulder walls several courses high that are supported by a rubble core. The field system was designed to manage overland water flow and to limit soil erosion. The modern practice of flood irrigation from a reservoir via open ditches provides an analog to the technique likely used in antiquity. Most of the vegetation growing around the site are C3, halophytic or xerophytic plants. Phytoliths in the soil and an ash layer indicate cultivation of cereal grasses and potentially of palms. Results of conductivity and ICPMS elemental analyses indicate the soil is depleted of nutrients and slightly saline from over-irrigation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Niemi, Tina M.
School: University of Missouri - Kansas City
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: MAI 49/01M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Archaeology, Soil sciences, Paleoecology
Publication Number: 1485865
ISBN: 978-1-124-19140-9
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