Special Viewpoints

Breaking the Sod: Humankind, History, and Soil

Science  11 Jun 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5677, pp. 1627-1629
DOI: 10.1126/science.1099893

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Via your Institution

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Abstract

For most of history, few things have mattered more to human communities than their relations with soil, because soil provided most of their food and nutrients. Accordingly, some of the earliest written documents were agricultural manuals intended to organize, preserve, and impart soil knowledge. Indeed, ancient civilizations often worshipped the soil as the foundry of life itself. For the past century or two, nothing has mattered more for soils than their relations with human communities, because human action inadvertently ratcheted up rates of soil erosion and, both intentionally and unintentionally, rerouted nutrient flows.

View Full Text

Related Content