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Title: Recognising and reconstructing prehistoric landscapes : a new case study from eastern Cumbria
Author: Skinner, Caroline
ISNI:       0000 0004 2680 8892
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2000
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This research looks at the problems of integrating palynological and archaeological data in the context of landscape archaeology. Concentrating on the differences in spatial scale of the two data sets and using a case study from eastern Cumbria the research focuses on the recognition and reconstruction of prehistoric landscapes. The research tests the distribution patterns evident in the existing archaeological record to assess whether the spatial and chronological distributions are a reflection of human activity areas or the result of differential preservation, destruction and recovery. The research also assesses the level of intra-regional variation in vegetation and its relationship to the archaeological record. The methodological approach adopted for this research ensures that both data sets relate to the same geographical space. Four pollen sites, dominated by a local and extra-local pollen catchment, are sampled and intensive archaeological investigation carried out within the catchment area. It is shown that late mesolithic-early neolithic communities were utilising most sections of the landscape but that activities varied between one micro-region and another. Diversity in human/environment interaction continues into the neolithic and bronze age by which time the Eden Valley has increased in importance possibly due to its position in relation to major routes through the Pennines. The study indicates that eastern Cumbria had a spatially varied mid-Holocene vegetation with a degree of variation comparable to that identified for the whole of northern England. Much of this variation is related to soil type and altitude with the influence of human activity being local in origin and responsible for only small scale change. It is suggested that the local and extra local scale pollen data provides a common denominator between nature and culture and combined with archaeological investigation forms the very basis for archaeological landscape studies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available