Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/637
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Anthrosols in Iron Age Shetland: Implications for Arable and Economic Activity
Authors: Guttmann, Erika B
Simpson, Ian
Nielsen, Nina
Dockrill, Stephen J
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Citation: Guttmann EB, Simpson I, Nielsen N & Dockrill SJ (2008) Anthrosols in Iron Age Shetland: Implications for Arable and Economic Activity, Geoarchaeology, 23 (6), pp. 799-823.
Abstract: The soils surrounding three Iron Age settlements on South Mainland, Shetland, were sampled and compared for indicators of soil amendment. Two of the sites (Old Scatness and Jarlshof) were on lower-lying, better-drained, sheltered land; the third (Clevigarth) was in an acid, exposed environment at a higher elevation. The hypothesis, based on previous regional assessments, soil thicknesses, and excavations at Old Scatness, was that the lowland sites would have heavily fertilized soils and that the thin upland soil would show little if any amendment. Our findings indicate that the Middle Iron Age soils at Old Scatness had extremely high phosphorus levels, while the soil at Jarlshof had lower levels of enhancement. At Clevigarth, where charcoal from the buried soil was 14C dated to the Neolithic and Bronze Age, there was no evidence of arable activity or soil amendment associated with the Iron Age phases of settlement. These observations indicate that not all sites put the same amount of effort into creating rich arable soils. The three sites had very different agricultural capacities, which suggests the emergence of local trade in agricultural commodities in Iron Age Shetland.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/637
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gea.20239
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author; you can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Cardiff University
Biological and Environmental Sciences
Aarhus University
University of Bradford

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