Manure Matters: Historical, Archaeological and Ethnographic Perspectives

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Richard Jones
Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2012 - History - 249 pages
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In pre-industrial societies in which the majority of the population lived directly off the land, few issues were more important than the maintenance of soil fertility. Manure really mattered, as without access to biodegradable wastes from production processes or to synthetic agrochemicals, early farmers continuously developed strategies aimed at adding nutritional value to their fields using locally available natural materials. In this book, international scholars working on social, cultural, and economic issues relating to past manure and manuring, use textual, linguistic, archaeological, scientific and ethnographic evidence as the basis for their analyses spanning the Neolithic through to the modern period, with studies from the Middle East, Britain and Atlantic Europe and India.
 

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Contents

1 Why Manure Matters
1
The Ecology of Manure in Historical Retrospect
13
3 Middening and Manuring in Neolithic Europe
25
4 Recycles of Life in Late Bronze Age Southern Britain
41
5 Organic Geochemical Signatures of Ancient Manure Use
61
6 Dung and Stable Manure on Waterlogged Archaeological Occupation Sites
79
7 Manure and Middens in English PlaceNames
97
8 The Formation of Anthropogenic Soils Across Three Marginal Landscapes
109
Coming to Terms with Manure in Arab Agriculture
129
10 Understanding Medieval Manure
145
Ethnographic Observations on Manuring Practices in a Mediterranean Community
159
12 Manure Soil and the Vedic Literature
173
Postscript
183
Bibliography
185
Index
233
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About the author (2012)

Richard Jones is the author of several books of poems, including THE CORRECT SPELLING AND EXACT MEANING (Copper Canyon Press, 2010), APROPOS OF NOTHING (Copper Canyon Press, 2006), THE STONE IT LIVES ON (Adastra Press, 2000), A PERFECT TIME (Copper Canyon Press, 1994), and AT LAST WE ENTER PARADISE (Copper Canyon Press, 1991). Anthologized in Garrison Keillor's Good Poems and Billy Collins's Poetry 180, his poems have been featured on National Public Radio, BBC Radio, and The Writer's Almanac. He is a professor of English and the director of Creative Writing at DePaul University and the founding editor of the literary magazine Poetry East.

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