Book Chapter Details
Mandatory Fields
Molloy, K., O’Connell, M.
2016 May
Cattle in ancient and modern Ireland: farming practices, environment and economy
Farming impact in Ireland from the Neolithic to recent times with particular reference to a detailed pollen record from east Galway
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Newcastle upon Tyne
Optional Fields
Farming history; Woodland clearance; Human impact; Prehistory; Historical period; Pollen analysis; Galway; Ireland
A pollen diagram, derived from a raised bog core taken from Ballinphuill Bog, 10 km to the north-east of Loughrea, Co. Galway, provides evidence for farming and its impact on woodland cover and composition in a part of mid-western Ireland where long detailed records are lacking. The profile has a well-defined Elm Decline and a pronounced Neolithic Landnam—woodland clearance in the context of early farming, in this instance, predominantly pastoral—that spanned the interval 3700–3400 BC. After a distinct lull in farming that lasted for approximately a thousand years, farming activity increased again in the late Neolithic/early Bronze Age (2400 BC). In the early and mid Bronze Age, farming, still predominantly pastoral but with a distinct arable component, was most intensive in the intervals 2300–2050 BC and 1600–1250 BC. Farming impact increased substantially in the late Bronze Age (ca. 1000 BC) and a high level of activity was maintained until the late Iron Age. A distinct lull in farming was recorded between AD 200 and AD 400 (Late Iron Age Lull). It was followed by strong human impact, especially from ca. AD 800 onwards. Cereal growing, which was already important by ca. AD 800, assumed further importance at ca. AD 1200, i.e. at about the time of the Norman expansion into east Galway. Final woodland clearance and creation of an open landscape dates to ca. AD 1500. This reconstruction of farming and its long-term impact in east Galway is placed in a wider context by reference to new information available from archaeological survey and excavation carried out in the context of motorway construction, and other recent investigations into long-term human settlement and farming in Ireland.
Grant Details
NRA through Galway Co. Council
Publication Themes