Eurasian Soil Science

, Volume 45, Issue 6, pp 561–577 | Cite as

Ancient agricultural terraces in the Kislovodsk Depression: History and modern state of the soils

  • A. V. Borisov
  • D. S. Korobov
  • A. N. Simakova
  • O. G. Zanina
  • A. V. Bukhonov
  • V. V. Demidov
Genesis and Geography of Soils


The results of the investigation into the history of soilscapes in the Kislovodsk Depression are discussed. It is shown that up to 60–70% of the area of slopes and interfluvial plateaus at the heights of 900–1500 m a.s.l. was terraced in the Late Bronze-Early Iron ages, during the Kobansk cultural stage (1200–600 BC). Under these conditions, a sharp change in the climate with a considerable increase in the annual precipitation in the middle of the first millennium BC resulted in the activation of erosion and the formation of a layer of colluvial sediments overlying the buried soil on the terraces. Thus, the middle of the first millennium BC can be considered the zero moment for the modern stage of soil formation in the region. Problems of the current state of the terrace complexes and the development of erosion on them are also discussed.


Humus EURASIAN Soil Science Humus Horizon Pottery Fragment Slope Terracing 
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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. V. Borisov
    • 1
  • D. S. Korobov
    • 2
  • A. N. Simakova
    • 3
  • O. G. Zanina
    • 1
  • A. V. Bukhonov
    • 1
  • V. V. Demidov
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems of Soil ScienceRussian Academy of SciencesPushchino, Moscow oblastRussia
  2. 2.Institute of ArcheologyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Geological InstituteRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  4. 4.Institute of Fundamental Problems of BiologyRussian Academy of SciencesPushchino, Moscow oblastRussia

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