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Spencer, DE,Molloy, K,Potito, A,Jones, C
2020
May
Vegetation History And Archaeobotany
New insights into Late Bronze Age settlement and farming activity in the southern Burren, western Ireland
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Pollen Prehistory Ireland Late Bronze Age Burren LAND-USE DYNAMICS LATE-HOLOCENE ENVIRONMENTAL-CHANGE KARSTIC ENVIRONMENT LANDSCAPE CHANGE VEGETATION SEDIMENTS EROSION IMPACT RECORD
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This paper is a palaeoenvironmental investigation into prehistoric farming activity in the southern Burren, a distinctive karst landscape in western Ireland, from the Mesolithic to the Early Iron Age (ca 4600-10 bc). This archaeologically rich landscape has been exploited by humans since the Neolithic and both the archaeological record and published pollen records from the area attest to its importance in early prehistory, specifically from the Early Neolithic-Early Bronze Age. Pollen, macrofossil and loss-on-ignition analyses were undertaken on a sediment core extracted from Lough Inchiquin, a large lake immediately south of the Burren. Previous investigations in this region all focused on small lake basins which provided only local signals of land-use offering conflicting insights into the land-use dynamics of later prehistory. With a scarcity of known archaeological evidence for Late Bronze Age activity in this region, the current narrative has been one of decreasing importance at this time. Through the establishment of a robust chronology, this paper presents the palaeoenvironmental evidence for human activity, focused on anthropogenic indicators, in conjunction with the archaeological data, from the Mesolithic to the Early Iron Age, to provide a detailed account of landscape change. The new data provide a more regional signal of land-use across the wider Burren landscape than previous studies and highlight an intense period of exploitation from ca 1210-560 bc that resulted in a Late Bronze Age Landnam.
10.1007/s00334-019-00746-1
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