Crimea: The History of Interaction between Man and Nature

Fedor N. Lisetskii (Editor)
Belgorod State National Research University, Belgorod, Russia
Director of the Federal-Regional Center of Aerospace and Surface Monitoring of the Objects and Natural Resources, Russia

Series: Environmental Research Advances, Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues
BISAC: POL058000

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With a wide variety of soil and climatic conditions as well as types of landscape in its territory, the Crimean Peninsula has a very long history of economic activity that can be broken down into multiple stages. There was an especially significant change in the natural landscapes on the peninsula during the Great Greek Colonization of the Northern Black Sea coast, when several major agricultural zones emerged in Crimea and the subsequent agricultural impacts on the soils continued for a millennium. The results give an idea about the specifics of the modern landscapes in terms of economic use, as well as human transformation of the original natural landscapes. The traces of land division in the form of linear structures that can be seen in satellite images allow researchers to reconstruct the way that agricultural landscapes were laid out in ancient times by extrapolating from the most significant components (land use and land use planning systems, population centers, transport routes etc.).

The authors of this study used natural science methods to study the artifacts and territories of ancient agriculture in Crimea to try and reconstruct the way that land resources were used for agricultural purposes in ancient times and get a comprehensive idea about how ancient agriculture in Crimea was organized and what resources it relied upon. To achieve that, a comprehensive method was developed that included an assessment of the suitability of specific areas for agriculture, identification of surviving agricultural artifacts (land division boundaries (ramparts, ditches), roads, etc.) and a search for soil properties indicative of past agricultural activities. The results of studying the land management and new approaches to defining the boundaries of ancient land use are presented.

For the first time, the relic signs of agricultural loads in the post-antique lands have been established. The significance of the results obtained can hardly be overstated when it comes to understanding the ancient agricultural practices and their impact on the existing agricultural landscapes since Crimea is unique in that the traces of ancient agriculture have been preserved here much better than in other parts of the world that used to be sites of ancient civilizations. Preserving the look and feel of ancient agricultural landscapes is a new task. As the authors have demonstrated, this task can be accomplished by integrating the findings of geographical and archeological studies with high tech methods (geo-modeling and automated decryption of remote Earth sensing data).
(Imprint: Nova)

Preface

Chapter 1. Contemporary Landscapes of Crimea
(E. A. Pozachenyuk, Crimean Federal Vernadsky University Position, Simferopol, Russia)

Chapter 2. The Natural and Resource Potential of Crimea and the Palaeogeographic Situation in the Ancient Era
(E. Ya. Zelenskaya and M. E. Rodionova, Belgorod State National Research University, Belgorod, Russia)

Chapter 3. Nature's Use in Antiquity and Its Evidence in Sediments on Archaeological Monuments of Crimea
(F.N. Lisetskii, Belgorod State National Research University, Belgorod, Russia)

Chapter 4. Ancient Land Use and Land Management in Crimea: Remote Analysis, Soil-Geomorphological Characteristics and Dating
(Zh. A. Buryak and A. O. Poletaev, Belgorod State National Research University, Belgorod, Russia)

Index

“The modern level of science, the use of advanced technologies in geoarchaeology allow us to bring to a new level our knowledge of the direct and feedback links of the changing environment and man with his economic activities. The book contains solutions to some problematic tasks that are still in the polemical field of historians. I think that the multidisciplinary approach used in the book will draw attention to the book of geographers, environmentalists, historians, geoarchaeologists.” - Dr. Tatyana Smekalova, PhD, DSc (History), Leading Research Scientist, Laboratory of Natural Sciences in Humanities, National Research Center "Kurchatov Institute", Moscow, Russian Federation

“Understanding the genesis of landscapes from different regions of the world, the development of which lasts for thousands of years, is a fascinating research task. Knowledge of Crimean geography, natural history and geoarchaeology require the systematization of new scientific results. The authors of the book were able to focus on several key stories in the study from the diversity of relationships between man and nature in the steppes and subtropics, as well as in the foothills and mountains of the Crimea. So, for example, I was very attracted by how informative was the use of GIS technology and remote sensing data to identify ancient Greek agricultural fields and their localization near ancient settlements. This opens up new perspectives in the study of such a peculiar corner of the Black Sea coast as the Crimean Peninsula.” - Dr. Valentina Prikhodko, PhD, DSc, Leading Research Scientist, Institute of physicochemical and biological problems in soil science the Russian Academy of Sciences, Pushchino, Moscow region, Russian Federation

“The ancient period in nature use on the territory of the Northern Black Sea region is a very interesting page in history. But some parts of this region, such as the Crimea, had both a background history of the relationship between man and nature, and continuous human activity right up to the present day. Therefore, Crimea is a historical-geographical area favorable for research, as this book demonstrates. I believe that this book will be of interest primarily to readers in North America and western Europe, because, as C. Cordova writes about this: “little is known about the geography and the natural and cultural attractions of Crimea.” Terekhin Edgar, PhD, Belgorod State National Research University, Belgorod, Russian Federation

Keywords: History, archaeology, paleogeography, ecology, land use, GIS-technologies, remote sensing

A book for professionals (Historians, archaeologists, geographers, ecologists, soil scientists, specialists in the field of remote sensing) and for those who are interested in a little-known region of the world.

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