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Farm Forestry in the Ancient Mediterranean

Research report

Research report

An abridged version of the author's book "Trees and Timber in the Ancient Mediterranean World", this paper gathered the surviving accounts of farm forestry in the Mediterranean from 700 BC to 300 AD. In essence, farmers' concerns were the same as they are in modern times: how to use their resources most economically to provide for home needs and create a surplus for sale. Most farmers combined cultivation with livestock and enough trees for self-sufficiency in all their varied needs for timber, fuel wood, fodder, fruits and willow baskets. Agricultural treatises gave advice on rational land use, tree propagation techniques, selection of species and coppicing cycles, which were much shorter then than they have been since coal became cheaply available.

Russell Meiggs