Review: Zeitschrift f. Geomorphologie, 50/4, Dez. 2006 top ↑
There are some critical remarks, too. The review articles contained in the book mainly deal with tools for assessing ancient land-use. However, the reader will miss a review on the major topic of the volume: anthropogenic slope-wash deposits. The much too long title of the book gives no clear clue of its principal aim. This, in my opinion, could be ‘land-use reconstruction’, or ‘anthropogenic slope deposits’ because all original research papers deal with the latter. Small changes in the titles of the review papers indicating their relation to this central topic would have allowed for their inclusion without evident disharmonies. And the entire book would have benefited from some focusing of these papers on this topic. Only the first paper of the volume does not make clear to me how it relates to the remaining articles, which, however, holds true for almost every conceivable book title.
The bad news is: Although this is a book with clear scientific merits, it probably will not find the acceptance it deserves. This is mainly due to profane language problems, which will discourage and mislead potential international readers, who may not readily recognize that the book actually covers their research interests. The most important problem is even reflected in the book title as well as in almost all papers: the mislead usage of the term ‘colluvium’ (cf. Letter to the Editor on this subject in the present volume of the Zeitschrift). Another handicap for the international reader is the easy-going handling of soil terminology in many of the papers. E. g., a soil type, ‘colluvisol’, comes into being, which is not defined in any international classification scheme I am aware of; one finds soil horizon designations directly adopted from the German classification without translation or explanation.
After all, my recommendation is somewhat ambiguous. German readers, who will not come across the translation problems, will find this book a valuable contribution to the knowledge of changes in land-use patterns and how to reconstruct them. I suggest to international readers with research interests in such a topic to give the book a try despite of its language weaknesses, it might be worthwhile.
Arno Kleber, Dresden
Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie N.F., 50/4, Dez. 2006