Conviviality and the life of soil

Given, M. (2018) Conviviality and the life of soil. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 28(1), pp. 127-143. (doi: 10.1017/S0959774317000609)

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Soils provide a striking demonstration of conviviality, thanks to the intensity and abundance of lively interaction seething within them. Soils constitute and generate life precisely through the symbiotic interaction, collaboration and competition of an enormous range of partners. Engaging with some specific soils in central Cyprus demonstrates how this conviviality works. Soil-places are created by very precise combinations of soil players, both non-human and human. Humans can join these partners in helping the soil to grow, through constructions of check dams to catch sediments and moisture. They can use soil to construct houses, demonstrating deep local knowledge and close partnership with the soils, and often recognizing the conviviality that provides a foundation for their lives in the landscape. As our soils today are catastrophically degraded and lost, the need to engage with the conviviality of soil is all the more urgent.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Given, Dr Michael
Authors: Given, M.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Journal Name:Cambridge Archaeological Journal
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN (Online):1474-0540
Published Online:11 September 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
First Published:First published in Cambridge Archaeological Journal 28(1):127-143
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
282444Troodos Archaeological Survey Project - CyprusA Bernard KnappArts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB)14633/1HU - ARCHAEOLOGY