Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 9:15 AM


GLAUBIUS, Jennifer Elaine, Department of Geography, University of Kansas, 1475 Jayhawk Blvd, Lindley Hall, Lawrence, KS 66045 and JOHNSON, William C., Dept. of Geography, University of Kansas, 1475 Jayhawk Blvd, Rm. 213, Lawrence, KS 66045,

Agricultural terracing is often constructed to create level surfaces for agricultural fields and to slow soil loss accelerated by cultivation. Terracing on the Traghanes Plateau in Messenia, Greece may have been originally developed around 3500 BP in association with the Late Bronze Age site of Iklaina; use of terracing remains prevalent on the plateau today. As a result, long-term terracing has changed the hillslope morphology of the plateau and patterns of water movement within the vadose zone. In order to understand past and future effects of terracing on the landscape the objectives of this study include analysis of (1) spatial characteristics of agricultural terracing, (2) the form of the terraced vs. pre-terraced landscape, and (3) terrace soil profile development. In July 2013, the first stage of the study was conducted to map agricultural terraces in two pilot areas on the Traghanes Plateau using a high-precision GPS. Observations made during the mapping indicate that the terraces can be categorized into two groups, simply terraces that are maintained and terraces that are not maintained. The maintained terraces are located along the edge of the plateau where the slope is steep and terracing is needed to prevent soil loss. These terraces include constructed stone walls and terraces created by bulldozing into the bedrock. Non-maintained terraces tend to be located on top of the plateau where the slope is relatively low, and most are preserved as boundaries between agricultural fields and field edges adjacent to roads. Other non-maintained terraces are located within fields, but are part of the tilled ground or are overgrown with vegetation. The terraces mapped in the pilot areas are used as a guide for digitizing terrace locations across the entirety of the Traghanes Plateau. Terrace locations are then incorporated into the analysis of terrace ubiquity on the plateau and spatial relationships between terraces and ancient and modern sites and features. The next phase of the fieldwork includes geophysical survey of selected maintained and non-maintained terraces and the description and sampling of terrace soils. Understanding the effects of agricultural terracing on landscape evolution and water movement in the vadose zone can guide future decisions on the use of land and water resources in Messenia, Greece.