Breaking the sod: humankind, history, and soil.

@article{McNeill2004BreakingTS,
  title={Breaking the sod: humankind, history, and soil.},
  author={John R. McNeill and Verena Winiwarter},
  journal={Science},
  year={2004},
  volume={304 5677},
  pages={1627-9}
}
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… CONTINUE READING
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