Soil indicators of post colonization land use change at Wormsloe State Historic Site, Georgia, USA
Campbell, Julia Holly
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Soil is a fundamental part of the ecosystem and one that humans depend on for a variety of services. Our interaction with the soil yields artifacts, or legacies. Soil legacies are studied by archaeologists to infer human history and soil scientists to interpret natural processes; consequently, legacies reveal our history and how that history impacts the broader ecosystem. This project investigated: the influence of historic agriculture on soil properties and vegetation and geophysical methods, electromagnetic induction and resistivity, for identification of soil legacies at Wormsloe State Historic Site. Results indicated that soil pH and extractable P remained significantly elevated over 80 years since abandonment of agriculture and that vegetation patterns were not significantly related to soil legacies. Geophysical methods guided soil sampling, identifying artifacts and distinguishing between sites of land use intensity. Results can be used to update land use history maps and provide non-invasive field techniques for future studies.