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Title: An investigation of mid to late Holocene fossil insects from raised bogs in the Irish Midlands
Author: Denton, Katie
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 3067
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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This dissertation presents the results of late Holocene insect fossil analysis from six raised bogs in the Irish Midlands. A distribution and taphonomic study was performed on a sequence of samples across a 1-km transect from the lagg (margin) to the dome (centre) of Ballykean Bog, County Offaly, Ireland. The purpose of this study was to detect any patterns in the taphonomy of the insect fossil assemblages, through the development of the bog and across ancient bog surfaces. This study also investigated how vegetation changes and taphonomy influence beetle assemblages from different locations across the bog surface and to test whether fossil assemblages reflect these changes. The insect faunal assemblages from the transect did not show any clear spatial or temporal patterns in fossil abundance or taxonomic diversity. However, the study demonstrated the benefit of the analysis of multiple sampling points in a bog. Multiple sampling site analysis appears to be critical in the development of a comprehensive reconstruction of key intervals of peat deposition and in providing a greater understanding of the local bog surface habitats. Insect fossil records were analysed across six raised bogs as part of a multi-proxy environmental archaeology project focusing on seven trackways, a wooden platform and a habitation structure. The archaeology dates from the early Bronze Age (1569±9 BC) at Kinnegad Bog to the Christian period (AD 900 to 1160) at Lullymore Bog. This study demonstrates that insect records associated with the minor structures, such as trackways and platforms, contained less diverse assemblages comprising of mainly generalist taxa. In comparison, the major habitation structure at Ballykean Bog had a strong anthropogenic signal. While the reasons behind the construction of the trackways and platforms remains unsolved on the basis of the multi-proxy environmental analysis, it was possible to suggest reasons for their construction based on structure directionality and historical context.
Supervisor: Elias, Scott ; Branch, N. P. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Beetles Coleoptera ; Ireland ; Bog ; Peatland ; Irish Midlands ; Archaeology ; Holocene