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Soil Characteristics

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Dirty Past
Teacher Contributed

Dirty Past


Terrace Farming

Student Exploration

Can we learn from our dirty past?

Other than simply having a visually appealing look, this landscape has a functional purpose as well. What do you think that it is?

Extension Investigation

  1. Around the world and throughout history, civilizations, like the Incas, have developed terracing. Here is an image of terracing at Machu Picchu: Why do you think that they created these terraces?
  2. Here is an example of how terracing is used in Guinea for farming: http://wws.peacecorps.gov/wws/multimedia/slideshows/gna_jacobs.cfm How does a terrace work to limit soil erosion? What tools do the people in Guinea use to measure the slope? Why is it essential to have these terraces?
  3. What other communities are using terrace farming? Research a community that is using terrace farming. Include in your report where the community is geographically located, what they are farming, and why terrace farming is necessary. As a class, you could create an interactive map displaying all of the researched communities. To get you started: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/Farming-Like-the-Incas.html?c=y&story=fullstory
  4. Explore Europe’s soil types and textures through the European Soil Data Center MapViewer (http://eusoils.jrc.ec.europa.eu/wrb/). Once you familiarize yourself with the site, propose a site in Europe that could benefit from terrace farming. Provide along with your proposed site an explanation that includes a connection between the soil type/texture and the need for terracing.

Resources Cited

Casablanca1911.WikiMedia. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ASapa9.jpg

Alexson Scheppa Peisino. WikiMedia. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AMachu_Picchu03.jpg

Steven Jacobson. Peace Corps. http://wws.peacecorps.gov/wws/multimedia/slideshows/gna_jacobs.cfm?

Cynthia Graber. Smithsonian.com. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/Farming-Like-the-Incas.html?c=y&story=fullstory

European Soil Data Center. European Commission Joint Research Center. http://eusoils.jrc.ec.europa.eu/wrb/

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