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dc.contributor.authorFarrell, Michelleen_UK
dc.contributor.authorBunting, M Janeen_UK
dc.contributor.authorSturt, Fraseren_UK
dc.contributor.authorGrant, Michaelen_UK
dc.contributor.authorAalbersberg, Gerarden_UK
dc.contributor.authorBatchelor, Roben_UK
dc.contributor.authorBrown, Alexen_UK
dc.contributor.authorDruse, Deniseen_UK
dc.contributor.authorHill, Tomen_UK
dc.contributor.authorHollinrake, Arthuren_UK
dc.contributor.authorJones, Julieen_UK
dc.contributor.authorTinsley, Heatheren_UK
dc.contributor.authorBayliss, Alexen_UK
dc.contributor.authorMarshall, Peteren_UK
dc.contributor.authorRicher, Suzien_UK
dc.contributor.authorWhittle, Alasdairen_UK
dc.description.abstractEnvironmental reconstructions from pollen records collected within archaeological landscapes have traditionally taken a broadly narrative approach, with few attempts made at hypothesis testing or formal assessment of uncertainty. This disjuncture between the traditional interpretive approach to palynological data and the requirement for detailed, locally specific reconstructions of the landscapes in which people lived has arguably hindered closer integration of palaeoecological and archaeological datasets in recent decades. Here we implement a fundamentally different method for reconstructing past land cover from pollen records to the landscapes of and around the Somerset Levels and Moors — the Multiple Scenario Approach (MSA) — to reconstruct land cover for a series of 200-year timeslices covering the period 4200–2000 cal BC. Modelling of both archaeological and sediment chronologies enables integration of reconstructed changes in land cover with archaeological evidence of contemporary Neolithic human activity. The MSA reconstructions are presented as a series of land cover maps and as graphs of quantitative measures of woodland clearance tracked over time. Our reconstructions provide a more nuanced understanding of the scale and timing of Neolithic clearance than has previously been available from narrative based interpretations of pollen data. While the archaeological record tends to promote a view of long-term continuity in terms of the persistent building of wooden structures in the wetlands, our new interpretation of the palynological data contributes a more dynamic and varying narrative. Our case study demonstrates the potential for further integration of archaeological and palynological datasets, enabling us to get closer to the landscapes in which people lived.en_UK
dc.relationFarrell M, Bunting MJ, Sturt F, Grant M, Aalbersberg G, Batchelor R, Brown A, Druse D, Hill T, Hollinrake A, Jones J, Tinsley H, Bayliss A, Marshall P, Richer S & Whittle A (2020) Opening the woods: towards a quantification of Neolithic clearance around the Somerset Levels and Moors. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 27 (2), pp. 271-301.
dc.rights© The Author(s) 2019 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.en_UK
dc.subjectSomerset Levels and Moorsen_UK
dc.subjectMultiple Scenario Approachen_UK
dc.subjectChronological modellingen_UK
dc.subjectLand coveren_UK
dc.titleOpening the woods: towards a quantification of Neolithic clearance around the Somerset Levels and Moorsen_UK
dc.typeJournal Articleen_UK
dc.citation.jtitleJournal of Archaeological Method and Theoryen_UK
dc.type.statusVoR - Version of Recorden_UK
dc.contributor.funderEnglish Heritageen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationCoventry Universityen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationUniversity of Hullen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationUniversity of Southamptonen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationUniversity of Southamptonen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationUniversity of Groningenen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationUniversity of Readingen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationWessex Archaeologyen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationOxford Archaeologyen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationThe Natural History Museumen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationHollinrake Archaeologyen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationUniversity of Bristolen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationUniversity of Bristolen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationBiological and Environmental Sciencesen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationHistoric Englanden_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationUniversity of Yorken_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationCardiff Universityen_UK
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