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Title: Carn Ingli, circa 1500BC to AD1845 : the application of geographical information systems to the study of settlement development at Newport, Pembrokeshire.
Author: Pearson, Alastair William.
ISNI:       0000 0001 2430 0081
Awarding Body: University of Portsmouth
Current Institution: University of Portsmouth
Date of Award: 1996
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The primary aim of this study is to provide a cogent description and explanation of change in rural settlement between circa 1 ,500BC and AD 1845 for an area centred on Mynydd Cam Ingli, Pembrokeshire. Using a range of data sources, it evaluates the capability and validity of applying new methods and techniques offered by geographical information systems (GIS) to realise this aim and explore its potential for extending the agenda of possible archaeological and historical enquiry. Recently published work demonstrates a growing awareness of the potential benefits of applying GIS to archaeological resource management and landscape archaeology, yet there is little evidence of its application to an integrated archaeological, palaeoenvironmental, historical and geographical enquiry. It is not the intention to use archaeological and historical data to demonstrate merely the merits of GIS, but to judge its success in 'doing' archaeological and historical research. Data sources are used irrespective of their suitability for input and analysis within the GIS. Each source is examined individually to gauge their reliability and also to reveal what they tell us about past settlement. The extent and nature of the archaeological record is assessed using air photography together with associated palaeoenvironmental evidence. Opportunity is taken to reflect on the potential value of photogrammetry and GIS to cultural resource management. Historical maps and documents, in the form of census returns, estate plans, rent rolls, court rolls provide a crucial human element to the study. Yet it is the tithe map of 1845 that is at the hub of much of the analysis. Mid-nineteenth century agricultural production, land use and tenure are analysed in relation to topographic and other geographical constraints. The tithe map also serves as an 'anchor' for a retrospective study of settlement development. Archaeological, palynological and documentary evidence point to the ebb and flow of mixed agriculture and settlement on Mynydd Cam Ingli during the Bronze Age and Iron Age. Though there is palynological evidence of Dark Age activity, archaeological remains of settlement are not evident. Charters detail the parcelling out of land as burgages during the thirteenth century by Anglo-Norman lords and the establishment of an open field. Use of the upland for communal grazing was tightly controlled by the lordship, but rapid encroachment by squatters during the early nineteenth century reduced the area of commons dramatically. Remnants of open field survive on estate plans of the mideighteenth century and embedded within the tenurial pattern of the tithe map. It is suggested that agriCUltural productivity as indicated by the tithe rent-charge is not only constrained by environmental conditions but by the prolonged use of medieval farming practises that echo those of the former open field. The study suggests that the input of archaeological, historical and environmental data into a GIS increases the scale and range of possible enquiries and enables questions to be asked that would have been inconceivable using manual methods. However, success or failure of the application of GIS to this type of study depends on the willingness of the researcher not to forsake the traditional methods and techniques appropriate to the analysis of a diverse range of sources. Though methodologically eclectic, adopting a broad landscape approach in combination with the analytical power of GIS offers a formidable overarching methodology for studying the past. Although the study concludes by suggesting that the application of GIS is not itself unproblematic, it is argued that the work presented does illustrate its potential value.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: GIS; Palynology