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Two essential elements of the terraces were the supporting wall and it's base. Horizontal sections of a wall were formed by digging, carrying dirt and material, and filling in where the bases had been designated. Dig in one place, level in another, stack rocks and fill in above, from the bottom of the valley extending up one terrace at a time. When one terrace was built it created suface area to support the next level, soil was spread 40 to 50 cm deep above the mixture of rock and material. The inclination of terraces varied between 8 and 10 %, for the most level areas, up to 13-16% for the steepest. The angle of incline was greater where less filling was used to build the terrace.

Stone masses at the base were built using huge, compact blocks that could support the weight and thrust from above.The base had a much larger area and the width of the walls were thicker than at the top. As construction progressed up adjustments were made to create a compact, solid structure that contained soil and took into account seasonal variation. Distribution changed during cultivation, irrigation and seasonal weather conditions. Soil tended to accumulate at the lower borders, leaving space for passageways.

“ The higher we built the walls the larger the border and field above. We had to sift soil with a mesh net to separte and distribute the dirt, it was artificial with chunks of red, that would have been good to make bricks. It was hard and wasn't good for plants, we had to fertalize and work the soil, over the years it became mixed and of better quality. We carried manure in baskets on our backs 'gerla', up the steps, during the winter to the fields.” (Bruno C., Valstagna. 1999.)


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