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The Prehistoric Environment of Furness: Palaeoenvironmental influences upon human activity during the Neolithic and Bronze Age of the Furness Peninsula, South Cumbria, UK.

Appley, Craig John (2013) The Prehistoric Environment of Furness: Palaeoenvironmental influences upon human activity during the Neolithic and Bronze Age of the Furness Peninsula, South Cumbria, UK. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Archaeological research in Cumbria has become increasingly holistic in recent years. Combined assessments of varied types of multi-scalar evidence, both archaeological and palaeoenvironmental, are now the basis of interpretation with regards to Neolithic and Bronze Age activity. Although the palaeoenvironmental record from Cumbria is extensive, certain key landscapes have been largely neglected. The extensive and varied archaeological evidence from the Furness Peninsula of South Cumbria features heavily in regional-scale interpretations of Neolithic and Bronze Age activity. Over the course of the Neolithic and Bronze Age, it is evident that this landscape was dynamic and changeable, especially along its coastlines. Compared to other parts of Cumbria, however, the Furness Peninsula has been subject to very little palaeoenvironmental research. This lack of local-scale data has impeded local-scale archaeological interpretation and, in turn, our understanding of prehistoric activity on a wider scale. Three pollen sequences have been extracted from natural prehistoric contexts upon the Furness Peninsula, which provide new evidence regarding local Neolithic and Bronze Age subsistence practices. A detailed geoarchaeological survey of buried prehistoric deposits within a particular valley system upon the peninsula has also been conducted. This provides new evidence regarding the inland extent of prehistoric marine transgressions across the Peninsula and changing palaeoenvironmental conditions in the environs of a number of important prehistoric occupation and ritual sites. This new data, augmented by the regional palaeoenvironmental record and qualitative local evidence, will be used to contextualise the archaeological record and reassess current interpretations. This improved understanding of both localised palaeoenvironmental change and human activity is used to identify a number of local- and site-scale human responses to changes in climate and coastline. The increased precision of these local-scale interpretations improve our understanding of Neolithic and Bronze Age activity across the wider region of Cumbria.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Furness, Cumbria, Geoarchaeology, Palaeocoastline, Palaeoclimate, Pollen
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Archaeology (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Archaeology (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.570177
Depositing User: Mr Craig John Appley
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2013 13:32
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2016 14:12
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3825

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