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.
|Advisor:||Niemi, Tina M.|
|School:||University of Missouri - Kansas City|
|School Location:||United States -- Missouri|
|Source:||MAI 49/01M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Archaeology, Paleobiology, Soil sciences|
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