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Peat, pine stumps and people: interactions behind climate, vegetation change and human activity in wetland archaeology at Loch Farlary, Northern Scotland

Peat, pine stumps and people: interactions behind climate, vegetation change and human activity in wetland archaeology at Loch Farlary, Northern Scotland

Tipping, Richard, Ashmore, Patrick, Davies, Althea, Haggart, Andrew ORCID: 0000-0001-7047-1674, Moir, Andrew, Newton, Anthony, Sands, Robert, Skinner, Theo and Tisdall, Eileen (2007) Peat, pine stumps and people: interactions behind climate, vegetation change and human activity in wetland archaeology at Loch Farlary, Northern Scotland. In: Archaeology from the Wetlands: Recent Perspectives. Proceedings of the 11th WARP Conference, Edinburgh 2005. WARP Occasional papers (18). Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Edinburg, Scotland, pp. 157-164. ISBN 9780903903400

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Abstract

First paragraph: In 1993, a peat-cutter, Bruce Field, working on the blanket peat bank he rented from the Sutherland Estate by Loch Farlary, above Golspie in Sutherland (fig 1), reported to Scottish Natural Heritage and Historic Scotland several pieces of pine wood bearing axe marks. Their depth in the peat suggested the cut marks to be prehistoric. This paper summarizes the work undertaken to understand the age and archaeological significance of this find (see also Tipping et al 2001 in press). The pine trees were initially thought to be part of a population that flourished briefly across northern Scotland in the middle of the Holocene period from c 4800 cal BP (Huntley, Daniell & Allen 1997). The subsequent collapse across northernmost Scotland of this population, the pine decline, at around 4200-4000 cal BP is unexplained: climate change has been widely assumed (Dubois & Ferguson 1985; Bridge, Haggart & Lowe 1990; Gear & Huntley 1991) but anthropogenic activity has not been disproved (Birks 1975; Bennett 1995). It was hypothesized that the Farlary find would allow for the first time the direct link between human woodland clearance and the Early Bronze Age pine decline.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Title of Proceedings: Archaeology from the Wetlands: Recent Perspectives. Proceedings of the 11th WARP Conference, Edinburgh 2005
Additional Information: [1] This paper was presented at the 11th Annual WARP (Wetland Archaeological Research Project) Conference, held in September 2005 in Edinburgh, Scotland. [2] The paper was given within Part III The Peatland Session.
Uncontrolled Keywords: wetlands, Wetland Archaeological Research Project, (WARP), SWAP (Scottish Wetland Archaeology Research Project)
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
S Agriculture > SD Forestry
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Department of Pharmaceutical, Chemical & Environmental Sciences
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2016 09:10
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/2693

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