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Title: Soil and sediment-based cultural records and The Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site buffer zones
Author: Cluett, Jonathan Paul
ISNI:       0000 0004 2682 8367
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2007
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The designation of World Heritage Sites (WHS) by UNESCO is the principal international and formally recognised strategy allowing the conservation of sites of outstanding cultural value throughout the world. This study demonstrates that soils and sediments influenced by cultural activities retain cultural records (soils and sediments-based cultural records, hereafter abbreviated to SSBCR) associated with WHS, and further the understanding and contribute to the cultural value of WHS. Considering The Heart of Neolithic Orkney WHS and its surrounding landscape as the study location, systematic fieldwork is combined with geoarchaeological analyses including soil organic matter content, pH, particle size distribution, phosphorus concentration, soil magnetism and thin section micromorphology to determine the nature of the SSBCR. Chronologies of the formation of SSBCR and of palaeo-environmental records were ascertained using radiocarbon analyses and optically stimulated luminescence analysis. Findings of particular importance to the interpretation of the WHS are the identification of a Late Neolithic SSBCR located between the WHS monuments. This SSBCR is a valuable cultural record of a specific Late Neolithic community and provides significant insight into the interaction between settlement and ritual aspects of the Orcadian Late Neolithic. An understanding of these interactions is of crucial importance to a fuller interpretation of the WHS and to the wider discussion of the Orcadian Neolithic. The implications of this research to other WHS designated for their cultural value are discussed, together with future conservation considerations for this specific WHS.
Supervisor: Simpson, Ian A. ; Adderley, W. Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Neolithic period Scotland Orkney Research ; World Heritage areas Scotland Orkney ; World Heritage areas Scotland Research ; Soil conservation Scotland ; Soil micromorphology