History of Soil Research

  • Mohammad Reza Balali
  • Hamid Siadat
  • Mohammad Hassan Roozitalab
Part of the World Soils Book Series book series (WSBS)


This chapter outlines development of early soil knowledge in the Persian history since the Achaemenid dynasty dated back 625 BC. Historical development of soil knowledge in Iran could be divided into two periods of indigenous soil knowledge, which continued until early 1950, and the modern soil science period began after that long period. The traditional soil knowledge was evolved in such a way that in the fifteenth century, farmers could use the information to characterize and categorize the agricultural land for production. Modern soil research period began in mid-twentieth century in conjunction with the modernization of agriculture and construction of the first generation of big dams. During this period, research institutes and universities were established. The authors briefly reviews the main achievements in various fields of soil science and the attention of soil science community to the emerging complex issues, which the country is confronting, and the need for more integrating approach in conducting, multi- and trans-disciplinary research to cope with the future challenges.


Persian civilization Traditional knowledge Agricultural knowledge Modern soil research 



We would like to thank and express our appreciation to K. Eftekhari, Assistant Professor of SWRI, M. Arabkhedri Associate Professor of SCWMRI, and M. Gorji, Professor of Soil Science of Tehran University for providing useful information, maps, and pictures.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Reza Balali
    • 1
  • Hamid Siadat
    • 1
  • Mohammad Hassan Roozitalab
    • 1
  1. 1.Soil and Water Research InstituteTehranIran

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