Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.444531
Title: Impacts of hunter-gatherers on the vegetation history of the eastern Vale of Pickering, Yorkshire
Author: Cummins, Gaynor Elizabeth
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2003
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Abstract:
Research is undertaken into the vegetation and human impact at three previously un-researched archaeological sites from the eastern Vale of Pickering. The vegetation history is reconstructed from the end of the Windermere Interstadial c. 13,000 (^14)C yr BP until the final Mesolithic c. 5100 (^14)C yr BP. The early Mesolithic human impact on the vegetation is assessed using a three stage statistical test to establish the internal variability in the data as well as background variations in pollen output. The results reveal that humans had a small but significant impact on the vegetation around two of the sites. Pollen preservation at the third site precluded analyses of the impacts of humans on the vegetation. The three-stage test used to test for human impact was quite successful but requires revision before any further use. On the whole the tests confirmed the findings of conventional human impact analyses. During the pre-Holocene fires occurred on a regular basis. These fires varied in location and intensity, suggesting that some of the fires were regional or large-scale, whilst others were small and very localized. A multi-causal explanation has been given for the fires. Later, during the early Mesolithic, human groups are thought to have burnt the reedswamp at the lake edges as part of an economic strategy. Star Carr is the only site that demonstrates clearance of significant areas of woodland. During the later Mesolithic the hunter-gatherers have a greater impact on the vegetation within the Vale. This is attributed to the need for more resources as a result of vegetation change and increased population levels. Unlike their counter-parts from the North York Moors, the occupants of the lowland Vale of Pickering cause no long-term change to their environment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.444531  DOI: Not available
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