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Histoire des paysages méditerranéens terrassés: aménagements et agriculture

Romana Harfouche


The aim of this work is to study the issue of agriculture on hillsides through the use of terraces, according to a multidiscAlinary and multiscalar approach (in time and space). Mediterranean hillsides are frequently covered with terraces. These are generally dedicated to agriculture, whatever the sociocultural contexts are. All Mediterranean regions are subject to the same regime of rainfall, often violent and very localized in time. Therefore, farmers face the problem of soil erosion and management oftheir water resources. Questions concerning the causes, techniques and chronology of these constructions are considered. Recent researches carried out in several Mediterranean countries underline the part played by terracing in the shaping of Mediterranean landscapes from the Neolithic period to the present time, and its importance among ancient societies. These researches show that the emergence of the agricultural terracing technique originated in not one but several locations, that this technique was put into practice at least from as early as the Bronze age in the western as well as in the eastern Mediterranean, and that the variety of techniques employed are not mainly connected to chrono-cultural factors but are first bound to environmental conditions. The author selects for her researches areas from Spain, France, Italy, Greece, the Near East and North Africa.