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Palaeoenvironmental investigations of a Mesolithic–Neolithic sedimentary sequence from Queen’s Sedgemoor, Somerset

By
Tom Hill
Tom Hill
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK
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John Whittaker
John Whittaker
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK
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Richard Brunning
Richard Brunning
South West Heritage Trust, Brunel Way, Norton Fitzwarren, Somerset TA2 6SF, UK
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Matt Law
Matt Law
Bath Spa University, Newton Park, Bath BA2 9BN, UK
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Martin Bell
Martin Bell
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6AB, UK
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Christopher Bronk Ramsey
Christopher Bronk Ramsey
Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, Dyson Perrins Building, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK
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Elaine Dunbar
Elaine Dunbar
SUERC Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory, Scottish Enterprise Technology Park, Rankine Avenue, East Kilbride G75 0QF, UK
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Peter Marshall
Peter Marshall
Historic England, 1 Waterhouse Square, 138–142 Holborn, London EC1N 2ST, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2017

Abstract

A sediment core extracted from Queen’s Sedgemoor, Somerset, SW England, has undergone high-resolution radiocarbon dating, with subsequent directed palynological, diatom, microfossil and mollusc analyses focusing on the sedimentary sequence associated with the late Mesolithic and early Neolithic periods. The microfossil and macrofossil evidence supports stratigraphic evidence for hydroseral succession and the subsequent development of a raised bog. Such palaeoenvironmental investigations provided evidence of the changing character of the wetlands at a time when there is evidence of Mesolithic activity elsewhere in the Somerset Levels. While very low pollen counts limited the interpretive potential of deposits associated with the Mesolithic–Neolithic transition, the multi-proxy micropalaeontological study has revealed a clear picture of landscape change for much of the sedimentary archive, and has identified a new freshwater body within the Somerset Levels in an area of known human activity from the late Mesolithic onwards.

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The Micropalaeontological Society, Special Publications

The Archaeological and Forensic Applications of Microfossils: A Deeper Understanding of Human History

M. Williams
M. Williams
University of Leicester, UK
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T. Hill
T. Hill
The Natural History Museum, UK
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I. Boomer
I. Boomer
University of Birmingham, UK
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I. P. Wilkinson
I. P. Wilkinson
British Geological Survey, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
7
ISBN electronic:
9781786203069
Publication date:
January 01, 2017

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