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Title: The use of palynofacies analysis in archaeopalynology
Author: Hoaen, Andrew William
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1999
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Within archaeopalynology, several different approaches are used to obtain environmental information; these include examining the pollen of modern analogues of past environments, archaeological deposits and buried soils, peat and lake sediments. To test whether palynofacies analysis was a appropriate method to use in archaeopalynology a case study in each of the three areas outlined above was carried out. The first case study investigated the palynofacies assemblages associated with a modern upland sheep pen and the surrounding pasture, located in the Meldon Hills, near Peebles. The result of this study was the discovery that a greater degree of environmental variation was present in the overall palynofacies assemblages than was present in the pollen data alone. Some of the environmental variation between samples was linked to the presence of fungal spores with a preference for animal dung. This suggested that the presence of certain fungal spores in the archaeological record may be indicators of herbivore dung. Buried soils and archaeological deposits associated with the Clava cairns at Balnuaran, near Inverness, formed the second case study. The palynofacies analysis resulted in a greater understanding of the taphonomy of the deposits and the palaeoenvironments at the excavated sites than would have been available through more conventional pollen work. Palynofacies investigation of cultural landscape development of a small basin at South Nesting, Shetland formed the third case study. The analysis demonstrated that changes in the palynofacies assemblages of the deposits, was the result of both anthropogenic change and autecological changes. These three case studies all demonstrated that analysis of the total content of a palynological preparation, can contain important information relating to past human environments.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available