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Durham e-Theses
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Environmental alteration by mesolithic communities in the north York moors

Innes, James B. (1981) Environmental alteration by mesolithic communities in the north York moors. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Palynological and stratigraphic analyses have been conducted at eight sites in two areas of the North York Moors upland, supported in one case by radiocarbon analysis. Attention has been concentrated upon peat deposits of pre-Flandrian III age, in order to elucidate environmental alteration associated with Mesolithic communities in the region. Phases of forest recession apparently caused by fire clearance of the vegetation have been identified at each of these sites, and these have been attributed to the activities of Mesolithic man. The ecological changes associated with these forest clearance events have been illustrated using relative and concentration pollen diagrams, many of which have been drawn using the computer program NEWPLOT devised by Dr. I. Shennan and have involved the use of statistical confidence limits to assist in interpretation of the pollen data. The results of these analyses have been assessed, together with examples of pre-ulmus decline forest recession in the region collated from previously published data. The landscape of the North York Moors during Flandrian I and II has been discussed in terras of its resource potential for human communities, and a number of palaeoenvironmental zones have been identified on this basis. The origin, character and distribution of Menolithic clearance activity in relation to these zones has been discussed, together with its ecological consequences. Finally the role of environmental alteration in Mesolithic economy and land-use in the region and its long-term effects upon the landscape have been considered.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Thesis Date:1981
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Jul 2013 10:53

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