|SYSTEM OF SOIL PROTECTION, WATER HARVESTING AND PROTECTION AGAINST THE WIND
Definition characters description and diffusion
In the Mediterranean there are most of the traditional techniques related to water management for harvesting, storage and channelling as well as the systems for the protection of the slopes and for soil production with their characteristics emphasized differently according to the environmental background. The former were introduced by the sailors who created water reservoirs, known only to them, in the cistern-jars in the islands along the arid coasts; the latter were spread by the nomads and the transhumants who were the guardians and the disseminators of knowledge related to landscape organization.
General characters description and diffusion
Devices such as the underground drainage tunnels, showing features of more specifically North African or eastern oases, have also been found in the south of Italy, in the region of the Mont d’Or near Lion in France (Garnier and Renault, 1993) and in Spain, where they have an ancient origin or were introduced by the Islamic civilisation. Thanks to the technique of the supporting dry stone walls, even the steepest slopes could be tilled. The walls prevent the erosion caused by the torrential rainfalls and afford the creation of embankments where humus is collected. In summer, the walls trap atmospheric moisture, which is conveyed to the soil they shade and they protect against the wind and the heat. Water collected from the roofs of the houses is conveyed into the cisterns and to the fields for irrigation.
Advantages and sustainability
Walls prevent erosion and create embankkments where humus is formed. Moisture is trapped by the walls and is then conveyed to the soil. The walls also shade the soil and protect it from the wind and heat.