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Partially carbonized vegetable matter saturated with water; used as a fuel when dried.
Fibrous organic substance found in bogs and formed by the incomplete decomposition of plants such as sphagnum moss. N Asia, Canada, Finland, Ireland, and other places have large deposits, which have been dried and used as fuel from ancient times. Peat can also be used as a soil additive.
Peat bogs began to be formed when glaciers retreated, about 9,000 years ago. They grow at the rate of only a millimeter a year, and large-scale digging can result in destruction both of the bog and of specialized plants growing there.
Peat bogs allow for excellent preservation of organic materials (wood, leather, plant matter, animals), which usually decompose in archeological sites. Several in Scandinavia have been excavated and have provided data on prehistoric settlements. A number of ancient corpses, some the result of ritual murders, have also been found preserved in peat bogs.
ETYM as. turf; akin to Dutch turf peat, German torf, Old High Germ. zurba turf, Swed. and Icel. torf turf, peat, Dan. törv, Skr. darbha a kind of grass, a tuft of grass.
1. The territory claimed by a juvenile gang as its own.
2. Surface layer of ground containing a matt of grass and grass roots; SYN. sod, sward, greensward.
3. (Informal) Range of jurisdiction or influence.