Somerset's Peatland Archaeology: Managing and Investigating a Fragile Resource [Hardback]

Richard Brunning (Author)

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ISBN: 9781842174883 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2013 | Language: English 352p, b/w & colour illus




Somerset's Peatland Archaeology

Details

The Somerset Levels and Moors are part of a series of coastal floodplains that fringe both sides of the Severn Estuary. These areas have similar Holocene environmental histories and contain a wealth of waterlogged archaeological landscapes and discrete monuments. The importance of Somerset's prehistoric wetland heritage is shown by the fact that twenty-five percent of all the prehistoric waterlogged sites thought still to exist in England are from the Somerset moors, the County Museum in Taunton Castle holds the largest collection of conserved prehistoric worked wood in the UK, possibly in the whole of Europe, the Sweet Track (the oldest known wooden trackway in the UK) and Glastonbury Lake Village have produced the most complete record of Neolithic and Iron Age material culture in the UK and Glastonbury Lake Village was the best preserved prehistoric settlement ever discovered in the UK.

This substantial monograph presents the results of the MARISP project ( Monuments at Risk in Somerset Peatlands) which thoroughly assessed the condition of the wetland monuments and the ongoing threats to their survival and aimed to answer key research questions about the sites through the use of minimally invasive excavation and to inform the development of future national and county wetland strategies.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction To The Project
The Somerset Levels and Moors
- The Holocene palaeoenvironmental background
- The history of archaeological research
- The waterlogged archaeological resource in Somerset’s peatlands
- Threats to the waterlogged resource
The Project Area
Aims of the project

2. Methodology
Managing and monitoring wetland monuments
- Monitoring Techniques
- Survival and decay processes
- Assessment of archaeological preservation
Site Selection
Excavation and analysis
- Evaluation trenching
- Wood recording
- Species identifications
- Dating
- Palaeoenvironmental analysis
Assessment of preservation
- Wooden remains
- Pollen
- Plant macrofossils
- Beetles
- Foraminifera
- Diatoms
Monitoring of the burial environment

3. Trackways
1. Bell Tracks fieldwork
- Previous fieldwork
- MARISP Excavation results
- Fieldwork conclusion
- Bell Tracks assessment and monitoring
2. Abbot’s Way fieldwork
- Previous fieldwork
- MARISP Excavation results
- Fieldwork conclusion
- Abbot’s Way assessment and monitoring
- Monitoring of burial environment
- Preservation conclusion
3. Tinney’s Tracks fieldwork
- Previous fieldwork
- MARISP Excavation results
- Fieldwork conclusion
- Tinneys Tracks assessment and monitoring
- Monitoring of burial environment
- Preservation conclusion
4. Chilton Tracks fieldwork
- Previous fieldwork
- MARISP excavation
- Fieldwork conclusion
- Chilton Tracks assessment and monitoring
- Monitoring of burial environment
- Preservation conclusion
5. Viper’s and Nidon’s tracks fieldwork
- Previous fieldwork
- MARISP Fieldwork results
- Fieldwork conclusion
6. Meare Heath Track fieldwork
- Previous fieldwork
- MARISP Fieldwork results
- Fieldwork conclusion
7. Withy Bed Copse Track fieldwork
- Previous fieldwork
- MARISP Fieldwork results
- Fieldwork conclusion

4. Platforms And Pile Alignments
8. Saul Platform, Sharpham Park fieldwork
- Previous fieldwork
- MARISP Excavation results
- Fieldwork Conclusion
- Saul Platform assessment and monitoring
- Monitoring of burial environment
- Preservation conclusion
9. Harding Alignment, Harter’s Hill fieldwork
- Previous fieldwork
- MARISP Excavation results
- Fieldwork conclusion
- Comparative sites
- Harding Alignment assessment and monitoring
- Monitoring of burial environment
- Preservation conclusion

5. Lake Villages
10. Meare Lake Villages fieldwork
- Previous fieldwork
- MARISP Excavation results
- Fieldwork conclusion
- Meare Lake Villages assessment and monitoring
- Monitoring of burial environment
- Preservation conclusion
11. Glastonbury Lake Village fieldwork
- Previous fieldwork
- MARISP Excavation results
- Fieldwork conclusion
- Glastonbury Lake Village assessment and monitoring
- Monitoring of burial environment
- Preservation conclusion
12. Crannel Farm fieldwork
- Previous fieldwork
- MARISP fieldwork
- Fieldwork Conclusion

6. Medieval Causeway
13. Street – Glastonbury causeway fieldwork
- Previous fieldwork
- MARISP Excavation results
- Fieldwork conclusions
- Comparative sites
- Street- Glastonbury causeway assessment and monitoring
- Monitoring of burial environment

7. Preservervation And Environmental Change
General preservation results
- Water quality monitoring
- Wood
- Issues in the method for recording pollen deterioration
- Pollen
- Plant macrofossils
- Coleoptera
Environmental change in the central Brue valley
- Previous palaeoecological work in the central Brue valley
- The MARISP sites in their geographical setting
- The chronology of the MARISP sites
- The palaeoenvironment of the upper Brue valley from the early Bronze Age

8. Research And Management Strategies
Bell Tracks
Abbot’s Way Track
Tinney’s Tracks
Chilton Tracks
Viper’s and Nidon’s Tracks
Meare Heath Track
Withy Bed Copse Track
Saul Platform, Sharpham Park
Harding Alignment, Harter’s Hill
Meare Lake Villages
Glastonbury Lake Village
Street – Glastonbury causeway
Crannel Farm
A strategy for Somerset’s peatland archaeology
- Climate change
- Management Strategy
- Research priorities
- Management priorities

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