Dataset on the soil properties of Early Iron Age and Medieval archaeological sites in the forest-steppe zone of the East European Plain

Published: 10 August 2023| Version 3 | DOI: 10.17632/wsxb9w526y.3
Fatima Kurbanova


Hillforts of the Early Iron Age and the Middle Ages were surrounded by defensive ramparts – earth walls constructed from the soil excavated nearby. The ramparts were constructed ~2500, ~2300 and ~1500 yrs BP. Dataset includes the analytical data on the buried soils under defensive ramparts and the surface soils. The samples were taken from every 10 cm (first meter) and 20 cm (second meter) but taking into account the boundaries of the horizons. The samples for phytolith analysis were collected from upper 5 cm of the soils. Soil morphology was described according to the FAO Guide for Soil Description (2006). Soils were classified according to the World reference base for soil resources 2014 (updated 2015). Munsell Soil Colour Charts (2009) was used to determine soil colour. Data on physicochemical properties of soils were obtained by means of standard techniques. Particle size distribution was determined by the conventional pipette method (Arinushkina, 1992). Total organic carbon (TOC) was determined using the K2Cr2O7 wet-combustion method and then recalculated to humus content (Procedures..., 1992). A pH meter Mettler Toledo was used to measuring the pH of the soil samples in water suspension (soil: water ratio 1:2.5). Dithionite and oxalate extractable fractions of iron were determined according to Mehra and Jackson (Mehra, Jackson, 1960, Procedures..., 1992). The elemental analysis was performed by the X-ray fluorescence spectrometry method after a loss on ignition determination using the Philips PW2400 Sequential WXRF Spectrometer (Malvern Panalytical, Almelo, The Netherlands). The total carbonate content was determined based on the destruction of CaCO3 by acid and subsequent precipitation of the carbonate ion (Kozlovskiy,1977). Analysis of CEC was provided using the Pfeffer method (Kazak, 2020). To analyze the microbiomorphs, the samples were treated in a multi-stage procedure (Golyeva, 2001, 2007; Piperno, 1988). Fortification ramparts were dated by archaeologists.



Institut geografii RAN


Paleopedology, Environmental Archeology, Soil, Paleosols, Soil Morphology


Russian Science Foundation


Russian Science Foundation