Phosphate Cartography

Phosphate cartography is a simple method to check if a particular area has formerly been inhabited. Humans and animals enrich the phosphate content of the soil as organic materials rot. The more garbage and organic waste are blended into the soil, the higher the phosphate concentration becomes. By removing soil samples with a geological soil corer and measuring the percentage of phosphate it is often possible to distinguish house and yard areas. The method is particularly well suited to determine the existence of long-term settlements and distinguish areas were livestock has been kept.

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