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|A palynological and geoarchaeological investigation into Bronze Age farming at Belderg Beg, Co. Mayo, Ireland
Neolithic period Ireland
|Verrill L & Tipping R (2010) A palynological and geoarchaeological investigation into Bronze Age farming at Belderg Beg, Co. Mayo, Ireland. Journal of Archaeological Science, 37 (6), pp. 1214-1225. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2009.12.020
|This contribution describes the results and interpretations of geoarchaeological and palynological analyses of a soil profile near to a 14C dated Bronze Age roundhouse in a sub-peat field system at Belderg Beg, north Mayo in western Ireland, which displayed field-scale evidence of tillage in the form of cultivation ridges. This evidence of arable cultivation was supported by the presence of quernstones in the roundhouse, but there was no supporting evidence from other forms of socio-economic analysis. Soil micromorphological analysis was employed to define how the ridges were created and with what tools; pollen analysis was used to characterise the surface vegetation and test the purpose of the ridges. The results unequivocally showed that a phase of ard cultivation was followed after a brief hiatus by ridge-and-furrow tillage. There were tentative indications of possible amendment of the earlier, ard-worked soil, and more definitive evidence of midden material addition to the ridged soil. An AMS radiocarbon assay on the base of peat overlying the ridges indicated that tillage occurred in the Mid to Late Bronze Age.
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