An interdisciplinary study on anthropogenic arable soils in the Dutch Province of Drenthe resulted in valuable information on reclamation history, soil formation and arable farming in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Times. This paper describes a genetic typology of Drenthe plaggen soils, based on the occurrence of fossil plough layers. Five stages of open-field reclamation could be reconstructed and dated. Palaeo-ecological and micromorphological research showed that the oldest reclamations were carried out on brown podzolic soils supporting oak and hazel forest. Medieval crop rotations included spring cereals (barley, oat, rye), winter cereals (rye) and fallow.
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