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On Fri, 11 Jul 2003 16:40:29 -0700, Bea Hopkinson
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Paul,
>     There was an interesting TV program by a botanist discussing how
>plants live and breath at the biological? level.  One of the points made
>was that there is only nine inches of topsoil that has fed civilization
>since the beginning of time because that is the depth at which nutrients
>accumulate.  Wonder what the normal depth is of a ridge and furrow ?
>
>Bea
>
>On 7/11/03 6:38 AM Paul Courtney writes:
>
>>Ridge and furow occurs in France, Sweden, Denmark and Germany and other
>>countries though I have never seen a map of its distribution. North and
>>East France was classic champion country of nucleated villages surrounded
>>by large open fields comprising strips strips - so ridge and furrow would
>>not be surprising on the heavier soils. I have seen furrow bottoms in
>>excavated Carolingian sites in NE France but I imagine a lot has gone
>>under the agri-industrial farming regimes of that part of the world.
>>However, not all open fields had ridge and furrow.

I think some ridges are 4 m or more high though most is much lower.
However, this has little to do with the topsoil depth which I imagine is
related to plough depth with a buried sub-soil below on the ridges. The
furrows oftem cut into natural which is how they often show on excavted
rural sites cutting through the prehistoric ar Roman archaeology. On
several excavted N. French Carolingian sites they post date abandonment of
stttlements around the 10th century.