This paper presents the results of a multi-proxy, palaeolimnological investigation of Lough
Inchiquin, a large lake located immediately south of the Burren, a distinctive karst landscape
in Co Clare, western Ireland which has been exploited since the Neolithic period.
Chironomid sub-fossil analysis and lake sediment geochemistry provides an opportunity to
infer lake response to prehistoric farming activity. The results of these new analyses are
contextualised by pollen and loss-on-ignition evidence from the same lake catchment. The
combined data of chironomid, loss-on-ignition (LOI550, LOI950 and non-combustible fraction
(NCF)), organic geochemistry (δ13Corg, δ15N, Corg:N ratio), inorganic geochemistry (Ti, Fe, Mn,
S and δ18O) and fossil pollen has allowed for an in-depth understanding of the
palaeolimnological and palaeoenvironmental changes from the Mesolithic to the Late
Bronze Age (c. 4590660 BC) in the catchment of Lough Inchiquin. The data highlight the
increasing ecological impact of anthropogenic activity through time and provide well-dated
evidence for the initiation of Holocene soil erosion from the Burren.