The Gwithian Landscape: Molluscs and Archaeology on Cornish Sand Dunes [Paperback]

Thomas M. Walker(Author); Rowena Y. Banerjea(With); C. Rob Batchelor(With); Rowena Y. Banerjea(Contributions by); C. Rob Batchelor(Contributions by)

ISBN: 9781784918033 | Published by: Archaeopress Archaeology | Year of Publication: 2018 | 210p, H11.5 x W8, Illustrated throughout in color and black & white (125 color plates)
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The Gwithian Landscape: Molluscs and Archaeology on Cornish Sand Dunes


Gwithian, on the north coast of Cornwall, is a multiperiod archaeological site. Excavations by Charles Thomas in the mid-twentieth century provided evidence of human activity from the Mesolithic to the post-medieval period. The present work explores the palaeoenvironment of the area around the settlement sites, from the Neolithic, when sand dunes initially developed in the Red River valley, to the present post-industrial landscape. Multiproxy analyses on sediments from coring, a test pit and mollusc columns provide a view of the changing landscape and how it may have influenced, or been influenced by, human presence and settlement. Mollusc studies are used as the principal analytical method. Multiple radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminesce dates permit these changes to be studied on a tighter time frame than was previously possible. Mining activity from the Bronze Age to the present is explored using fine-resolution geochemistry. Dating allows the timing of the extinction and introduction of some mollusc species to be refined.

Table of Contents


Foreword by Jacqueline A. Nowakowski

Chapter I – Introduction

Chapter II – Gwithian and its archaeological complex

Chapter III – Previous molluscan studies at Gwithian

Chapter IV – The current study at Gwithian

Chapter V – The coring transect

Chapter VI – Percussion cores

Chapter VII – Hand auger cores

Chapter VIII – Pollen analysis at Gwithian – by Dr. C. R. Batchelor

Chapter IX – Chronology and discussion of the coring transect

Chapter X – Trench excavation

Chapter XI – Micromorphology analysis of a buried soil – by Dr R. Y. Banerjea

Chapter XII – Mollusc studies in the wider Gwithian landscape

Chapter XIII – Mining for tin and other metals

Chapter XIV – Discussion and conclusions



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