Cultural landscapes predominate the earth surface. Terraced landscapes are a prominent example for long existing agriculturally used landscapes. Due to their ages with first known implementation during Bronze Age, their high stability and their wide distribution across the Mediterranean terraces were in the focus of this research.


The importance of water regulation and water management in rural areas especially in arid landscapes is fundamental. A basal problem shared by most drylands is the seasonality and variability of the climate. Therefore, temporal storage of water during the rainy season for usage during the dry season is a key component. A most convenient and globally implemented way to achieve this, is the construction of agricultural terraces. Agricultural terraces consist of two marked features: the terrace wall (riser) and the cultivation area (tread). Well-maintained terraced landscapes can be considered as historical, ecological and cultural heritage, and often provide sustainable and long-living landscapes. In the Mediterranean terraces form a most vivid and historical landscape feature. Terraces are reported for the Mediterranean since the Bronze Ages but probably developed in large scales since the Iron ages.

The timing and spread of terraced landscapes and the evaluation of their persistence were the main objects of the research project.

Related projects

(A-3) Water Management