Soils and Civilizations

Unearthing Soil’s Role in History (First Edition)
Edited by Dr. Neal Eash
Paperback, 338 pages
ISBN: 978-1-60927-514-3 ©2014
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Soils and Civilizations

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    Introduction to Soils & Civilizations introduces students to soil management and its importance to the stability and sustainability of civilizations. This text examines how the application of soil-science fundamentals and adequate land-use planning could have alleviated some of history’s land-use disasters, including the period in the 1930s of severe, prolonged drought and extreme soil erosion known as the “Dust Bowl.”

    Throughout history, major civilizations failed as soil productivity diminished as a result of deforestation and abuse of marginal lands—processes that continue today. This anthology brings together the global perspectives of the foremost researchers in the field, including both classic and contemporary selections.

    After reading Introduction to Soils & Civilizations, students will be able to describe the factors contributing to accelerated soil erosion rates and explain the relationship between soil degradation and the fall of historic and prehistoric civilizations.

    Dr. Neal Eash is an associate professor in the Biosystems Engineering & Soil Science Department at the University of Tennessee. His research focuses on soil fertility and carbon cycling in farming systems. He conducts ongoing no-till research in Lesotho and Mozambique, and he continues to farm his own 160-acre farm in Ohio using only no-till methods. Dr. Eash worked as an agricultural extensionist in Botswana, Africa, and collected soil samples for his M.S. degree that studied the effects of 1,500 years of near-continuous agriculture in the Colca Valley, Peru. Dr. Eash has written more than 60 publications, including one textbook and more than 30 refereed publications and he serves as an Associate Editor of Agronomy Journal.