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Discerning beetles, an entomo-archaeological study of coleopteran faunas in relation to place and time

Grove, Katherine Jane (2002) Discerning beetles, an entomo-archaeological study of coleopteran faunas in relation to place and time. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This work initially examines the origins and methods of entomo-archaeological studies and reviews the current state of this discipline. Original work is presented on coleopteran faunas, mainly from medieval pits, recovered and analysed from sites in Winchester, Southampton and Chichester. The faunas resemble those recovered from deposits of similar provenance from other sites. They also contain the earliest records of some species in Britain and the earliest medieval occurrences of others which, were common in Roman Britain, but missing from the Saxon urban record. A modem analogue of a medieval cesspit was set up in order to investigate the coleopteran faunas, which develop in that environment. Further experimental work was carried out using a choice chamber, to determine the preferred pabulum of certain species of Aphodius dung beetles. The findings are placed in a wider context as a representative sample of all work, carried out on Roman and post-Roman coleopteran thanatocoenoses, were included in the following investigations. Methods of standardising data from different sources are discussed. The distribution of synanthropic species through time was studied, with special emphasis on Tipnus unicolor and Cryptolestes ferrugineus. Investigations into the characteristics of pit faunas and into the relationship between the assemblage and the physical properties of the feature, in which it formed, were undertaken. Correspondence analysis, from the CANOCO computer program, was used as an aid to interpretation, in both exercises. Definite faunal types were discovered in pit assemblages, which could be related to the known archaeological details and certain properties of the feature were shown to influence the development of the fauna. These exercises proved that comparing work by different authors can be productive and that CANOCO is a powerful tool in analysis.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
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.508335
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 20 May 2014 15:25
Last Modified: 20 May 2014 15:25
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6133

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