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Geomorphology of the archaeological area of Aksum

Ferrari, Giovanni, Ciampalini, Rossano, Billi, Paolo and Migon, Piotr 2015. Geomorphology of the archaeological area of Aksum. In: Billi, Paolo ed. Landscapes and Landforms of Ethiopia, World Geomorphological Landscapes, Berlin: Springer, pp. 147-161.

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Abstract

Aksum is one of the most important archaeological and historical towns in Ethiopia. The archaeological area stretches on a plateau ranging from 2250 to 2460 m and the general landscape consists of a few dome-shaped hills standing on a plateau crossed by small ephemeral streams. The main geomorphic features are the result of the emplacement of basalt flows, the intrusion of syenite subvolcanic plugs and domes, tectonics, weathering and its interaction with various surface erosion processes. In such a context, between 700 BC and 800 AD, the rise and the decay of the Aksumite Kingdom, one of the most known civilisations of East Africa took place. The core of the archaeological area of Aksum, with tall carved obelisks, is a UNESCO World Heritage listed property. The integration of archaeological data with the analysis of soil conservation measures and agricultural practices, adopted till present, allowed to develop a plough marks based methodology to assess the historical soil erosion rate and, hence, to understand historical landscape evolution within a man-controlled environment. The occurrence of archaeological evidence in such a characteristic geomorphological context provides an excellent opportunity to study and understand interaction between geomorphic and anthropic processes.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9789401780254
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2020 14:03
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/67785

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