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A contribution to the late quaternary ecological history of Cleveland, North-East Yorkshire

Jones, R.L. (1971) A contribution to the late quaternary ecological history of Cleveland, North-East Yorkshire. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The characteristics of Cleaveland in terms of the existing physical elements of the landscape ands its settlement history are presented as a background to the study of Late Quaternary and Post-glacial landscape evolution is traced by the interpretation of stratigraphical and palynological records obtained from five mire sites by established techniques of Quaternary research. The sites lie upon an altitudinal transect from around 70 metres O.D. on the Cleaveland Plain in the west of the region to about 235 metres O.D. upon the North Cleveland Moors, and range over some 30 kilometres distance. Apart from a proposed three stage oscillation of interstadial rank within the Late-glacial period, the normal sequence of a predominantly open Late Weichselian vegetation followed by a largely closed forest cover in early Post-glacial time is encountered. Differences existing between lowland and upload habitats at particular times are explained in terms of ecological (mainly climatic and edaphic) factors. The later Post-glacial period is considered in the context of Cleveland’s suitability as a dwelling place for prehistoric and early historic men, and the effects of his successive occupations upon the natural vegetation cover are discussed as late in time as reliable ecological evidence permits. It is suggested that the earliest settlers in the region may have had considerably greater effects upon their environment than has formerly been credited to them, and that the uplands had reached a stage of ecological imbalance by early historic time, the lowlands achieving this somewhat later and with a lesser degree of permanent and not easily reversible change.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1971
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Nov 2013 16:12

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