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Down By The River: Archaeological, Palaeoenvironmental and Geoarchaeological Investigations of The Suffolk River Valleys
     

Down By The River: Archaeological, Palaeoenvironmental and Geoarchaeological Investigations of The Suffolk River Valleys

by Benjamin Gearey, Andy Howard, Henry Chapman
 

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Whilst East Anglia has long been known as a key area for the preservation of important Palaeolithic archaeological and palaeoenvironmental deposits, relatively little study of the Holocene record has previously been carried out. This series of detailed studies presents the results of palaeoenvironmental, archaeological and geoarchaeological investigations focused on

Overview

Whilst East Anglia has long been known as a key area for the preservation of important Palaeolithic archaeological and palaeoenvironmental deposits, relatively little study of the Holocene record has previously been carried out. This series of detailed studies presents the results of palaeoenvironmental, archaeological and geoarchaeological investigations focused on the Post-Glacial record preserved in the valleys of the Suffolk rivers. Five floodplain sites (Beccles, Hoxne, Hengrave, Ixworth and Brandon) were cored for palaeoenvironmental assessment, further sampling and radiocarbon dating and the resulrs are described. In addition, a summary is presented of the results of palaeoenvironmental and geoarchaeological investigations carried out as part of archaeological mitigation associated with commercial developments. Together, the results demonstrate the largely untapped research potential of the Suffolk river valleys and provide hypotheses concerning the timing, pattern and process of fluvial development, human activity and landscape change during the Holocene. Bank realignment work at Beccles in the lower Waveney Valley resulted in the discovery of three late prehistoric wetland archaeological sites at Beccles, Barsham and Geldeston. These each consisted of triple alignments of timber posts constructed across the floodplain during the later Iron Age, with evidence for continuing activity in the Romano-British period. The final chapter presents a summary of the current state of knowledge of Holocene environmental change and the archaeological record in Suffolk. The possible form and function of the Waveney timber alignment structures is discussed and compared to other similar sites from around the United Kingdom. It is suggested that these structures may have acted to delineate routeways to, from and across the river and also as territorial markers associated with river travel, both local and perhaps into the southern North Sea. A discussion of specific techniques employed during the work at Beccles, including the trialing of a novel geophysical approach at the site and 3-D digital recording of the timbers is presented and the volume concludes with a brief summary of research questions for future palaeoenvironmental and archaeological study.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781785701689
Publisher:
Oxbow Books Limited
Publication date:
03/31/2016
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
11.70(w) x 8.30(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Benjamin Gearey is Lecturer in Environmental Archaeology at University College Cork, Ireland. He has research interests in palaeoecology, wetland archaeology and alluvial geoarchaeology.

Andy J. Howard is a Quaternary geologist with over 20 years’ experience of investigating and unraveling the geoarchaeological histories of river valleys. He now runs his own landscape research consultancy as well as holding a Honorary Fellowship within the Department of Archaeology at the University of Durham.

Henry Chapman is Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Birmingham. He specializes in later prehistory, wetland archaeology and the application of GIS and other computer methods to the study of the past.

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