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Title: Changing plant subsistence in Prehistoric Southwest Britain : archaeobotanical and anthracological evidence from the South Cadbury Environs Project
Author: de Carle, Danielle E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5349 1237
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2014
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The thesis investigates changing agricultural practices and wood use across a landscape from the Neolithic to Romano-British period, through charred archaeobotanical remains: crops, weeds, wild herbaceous plants and wood charcoal, recovered during survey test-pitting and excavation as part of the multi-site, South Cadbury Environs Project (SCEP), South Somerset, England. Alongside abundant barley grain, the major wheat crop shifts from emmer to spelt in the Late Bronze Age, with the appearance of free threshing wheat towards the end of the Romano-British period. The quantity of crop remains increase in the Middle Iron Age contexts accompanied by new crop types including pulses. The crop composition is investigated through consideration of both the crops themselves and the physical and ecological characteristics of the accompanying weeds and wild taxa. The majority of crop-rich SCEP samples represent waste from the later stages of crop processing. Ecological assessment of the crop weeds from the fine sieving by-products of glume wheats points to differences between localities which are suggested to indicate a shift from Bronze Age spring sowing of glume wheat to autumn sowing in the Middle Iron Age, particularly at the limestone-scarp site of Sheepslait. The majority of the wood charcoal recovered from the SCEP samples seem to represent waste from fuel use. Across the landscape as a whole, the wood taxa utilised remained relatively stable throughout the periods, representing oak and ash lowland mixed deciduous woodland, woodland edge and hedgerow species. Ecological investigation of the wood taxa shows differences related to location. A marked temporal change in the taxa from the Sigwells area may indicate the sourcing of wood for particular tasks.
Supervisor: Jones, Glynis ; Charles, Michael Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available