Reading the field: Geoarchaeological codes in the Israeli landscape

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This review provides a representative selection and synthesis of studies that explore the archaeological landscape history of Israel and the interaction between human activities and the physical structure. Studies of ancient land use show that dwellings, oil presses, wine presses. and olive trees were located on rocky surfaces, and vineyards and agricultural fields were located on soil and sediment surfaces. In many cases, lithological boundaries delineating hard and soft rocks also differentiated between different land uses. Human activity has both spatial and local effects on the landscape. Terrace constructions are spatial phenomena; artificial earth embankments are local phenomena. Both have had long-term effects on the landscape, including on vegetation distribution patterns. Identifying and reading landscape codes enables enhanced understanding of archaeological sites and their environs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-106
Number of pages20
JournalIsrael Journal of Earth Sciences
Issue number2-4
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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