Академическое издательство «Гео»

Keywords: space image interpretation, ancient irrigated agriculture, settlements of ancient farmers, low-level peatbogs, paleoreconstructions.



GEOGRAPHY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, 2017, № 1, p. 143-151

Ancient agriculture and paleographic characteristics of the Ubsunurskaya
depression

T.N. Prudnikova

Ubsunur International Biosphere Research Center SB RAS,
ul. Internatsional’naya, 117-a, Kyzyl, 667007, Tyva Republic, Russia, tprudnikova@inbox.ru

Natural regularities were revealed in the development of irrigated agriculture in ancient Tuva, suggesting that the region of Central Asia was home to an ancient agricultural civilization. The study identified ample evidence of ancient irrigation on desert landscapes of the Ubsunurskaya depression, large plots of arable land exceeding considerably the areas of today’s agriculture. It was established that the irrigation systems along the valley of the Tes-Khem river show abundant evidence of ancient settlements. Arid territories of Central Asia — regions of traditional animal husbandry — are considered. A town of ancient farmers, hitherto virtually unknown to science, was discovered on the western shore of Lake Ubsu-Nur. Remnants of irrigation systems were investigated, and it was found that separate plots of land were concentrated on low-level peatbogs which were good arable lands. Paleobotanical analysis of peatbogs and buried soil horizons determined the character of vegetation cover on the study territory, pointing to a stable development of vegetation of the forest-steppe type in the past. Wheat and millet grains were discovered, which confirm the existence of agriculture in these areas. Macroremains of forest and forest-steppe vegetation and cereals suggest that at the time of ancient agriculture there occurred plant communities on desert landscapes of the Ubsunurskaya depression. It is presumed that deforestation was among the reasons behind the desertification of this territory.

Keywords: space image interpretation, ancient irrigated agriculture, settlements of ancient farmers, low-level peatbogs, paleoreconstructions.

DOI: 10.21782/GiPR0206-1619-2017-1(143-151)

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