Development and cultivation of ridge and furrow sites in Saxony-Anhalt
Project code: DFG
Contract period: 01.04.2017 - 31.03.2020
Budget: 240,000 Euro
Purpose of research: Applied research
Ridge and furrow formations are legacies of ancient agricultural practices, which occur in large parts of Saxony-Anhalt. Numerous open questions such as purpose, cultivation practice and benefits of ridge and furrow cultivation were not finally clarified by the studies performed in the Altmark and Harz Mountains (Saxony-Anhalt) in the 1960s and 1970s. Important historical writings were not included and soil laboratory investigations were not performed. A systematic review of historic written sources and basic soil characterization of ridges and furrows are focused in this project. Additionaly, bio- and molecularmarkers such as sterols, stanols, stanones, bile acids and black carbon as well as stable isotopes (d13C, d15N) gain profound knowledge about ridge and furrow manuring practice. The interdisciplinary and multianalytical approach aims to gain deeper insights in ridge and furrow culture. Finally, results will be brought into context with modern land use.