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Micromorphological and Chemical Features of Soils as Evidence of Bronze Age Ancient Anthropogenic Impact (Late Bronze Age Muradymovo Settlement, Ural Region, Russia)

1
Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, 119017 Moscow, Russia
2
Institute of Physical, Chemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science, Russian Academy of Sciences, Ulitsa Institutskaya, 2, Pushchino, 142290 Moscow, Russia
3
V.V. Dokuchaev Soil Science Institute, 119017 Moscow, Russia
4
Archaeological Laboratory of Bashkir State Pedagogical University, 450076 Ufa, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2018, 8(9), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8090313
Received: 24 July 2018 / Revised: 14 August 2018 / Accepted: 16 August 2018 / Published: 22 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Imprint of Palaeoenvironments on Soils and Palaeosols)
In some cases, the human impact on ancient landscapes has been so profound that local soils still remain significantly affected even after hundreds and thousands of years after ending impact. We studied the Late Bronze Age Muradymovo settlement located in the Urals, Russia, aiming to estimate the consequences of the ancient people’s activity on the environment. Despite the present humid climate, the modern soils inside the cultural layer of the study site contain more than 27% of gypsum at a depth of just 10 cm from the surface, and a microrelief of the study site is typical of a gypsum desert. The nearby background Chernozems are gypsum-free to a depth of 2 m. According to the archaeological data, the ancient people belonged to the ‘Srubno-Alakul’ archaeological culture (1750–1350 years B.C. cal (calibrated years before Christ)) and had a tradition of building their houses from gypsum rocks. At the present time, this area is still unsuitable for human settlement. The properties of modern soils inside the cultural layer of the study site are directly affected by the Late Bronze Age human activities. It has been identified on soil morphology, micromorphology, and chemical properties of soils developed inside the cultural layer of the settlement. View Full-Text
Keywords: Bronze Age settlement; modern soil; micromorphology; chemical properties; gypsum; anthropogenic impact Bronze Age settlement; modern soil; micromorphology; chemical properties; gypsum; anthropogenic impact
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Golyeva, A.; Khokhlova, O.; Lebedeva, M.; Shcherbakov, N.; Shuteleva, I. Micromorphological and Chemical Features of Soils as Evidence of Bronze Age Ancient Anthropogenic Impact (Late Bronze Age Muradymovo Settlement, Ural Region, Russia). Geosciences 2018, 8, 313.

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