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The pollen diagram of Bouara (Gremmen and Bottema, 1991) has been prepared from a sediment collected at the side of the spring that provides the Bouara salt flat with water. The sediment consists mainly of clay, sometimes mixed with sand or organics. The spring is located at the edge of a white crystalline salt deposit. At a depth of 210-230 cm and at 340-360 cm, organic clay and peat is found, indicating that locally marsh vegetation occurred. The lower organic deposit was dated 5730 +I20 BP. The whole section is about 6500 years old.

M. 1990a Grain Reserves, Daily Rations, and the Size of the Assyrian Army: A Quantitative Study, State Archives of Assyria Bulletin 411, 23-34. 1990b The Rural Landscape of the Neo-Assyrian Empire: A Survey, State Archives of Assyria Bulletin 412, 81-142. SETTLEMENT AND LAND USE 23 Foster, B. R. 1986 Agriculture and Accountability in Ancient Mesopotamia, 109-28 in H. C. : Four Quarters Publishing Co. Gelb, I. J. Ebla and Lagash: Environmental Contrast, 157-67 in H. C. : Four Quarters Publishing Co.

This can be accomplished by the application of composted animal dung, by encouraging animals to graze on stubble fields, or to remain overnight on fields so that their dung provides a natural manure. In addition, the application of household refuse, ash, and organic waste will supplement the degradation of soil fertility through time (Wilkinson 1982, Miller and Gleason 1994). This practice is well illustrated for a traditional Middle Eastern society in highland Yemen. In small villages, household waste, usually consisting of ash cleared from hearths and ovens, is dumped outside the house in small oval stone-lined storage units.

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