More than just a terrace…

Terrace_field_yunnan_china_denoised

Terrace system in Yunnan, China. Photo: Jialiang Gao, http://www.peace-on-earth.org

It isn’t every day that a piece you write is published alongside an editorial written by a Nobel Peace Laureate, in this instance Prof. Mohammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Laureate 2006.

Suzi and Daryl’s recent publication in the World Farming Organisation‘s August 2016 F@armletter ‘More than just a terrace: a past perspective on the multifunctional agriculture of Konso, Ethiopia’ looks at how archaeology can add time depth to how we understand multifunctional farming systems.

Terracing can be visually stunning. Your eye is drawn to follow the lines, contours and colours of what is visible today. But the focus on the framed picture of the here and now, whilst beautiful, tells little of how this terraced landscape came to be. It misses the evolution of these terraces over generations and the interconnectedness of the terraced landscape with other parts of the agricultural system.

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