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Snails: Archaeology and Landscape Change

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The remains of snails in ancient soils and sediments are one of the most important biological indicators of past landscapes, and have attracted study for well over a century. In spite of this, the only English-language textbook was published in 1972 and is long since out of print. Snails provides a comprehensive, up to date reference text on the use of snails as indicators of past environments in Quaternary landscape studies and archaeology. It considers the use of terrestrial and freshwater sub-fossil snail ...
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Overview

The remains of snails in ancient soils and sediments are one of the most important biological indicators of past landscapes, and have attracted study for well over a century. In spite of this, the only English-language textbook was published in 1972 and is long since out of print. Snails provides a comprehensive, up to date reference text on the use of snails as indicators of past environments in Quaternary landscape studies and archaeology. It considers the use of terrestrial and freshwater sub-fossil snail remains as indicators of Late Quaternary (c. last 15,000 years) environmental change and as indicators of past environments and human impacts on the landscape. The volume also demonstrates how an understanding of modern snail ecology can be used to enhance our interpretation of landscape archaeology, and provides a detailed contextual approach to the main types of deposits in which snail remains are found. Davies also puts forward an agenda for future research on the use of snails in archaeological and environmental reconstruction.
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Editorial Reviews

The Archaeo & Malacology Group Newsletter
Well-written and coherently presented... This book should be on the shelf of every archaeomalacologist... It brings the subject up to date and also presents a wider contextual approach to European non-marine molluscan assemblages.'
The Holocene 19.6, 2009 - Nicole Limondin-Lozouet
Books dedicated to Quaternary malacology can be counted on the fingers of one hand, particularly in Europe. Paul Davies work thus forms a welcome contribution to the field of environmental archaeology.'
Journal of Quaternary Science, Vol. 24.6, 2009 - Richard Preece
A welcome addition to the literature on environmental archaeology.'
Geoarchaeology 24.6, 2009 - Heidi Luchsinger
The book is clearly written and logically organized... I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in incorporating this type of paleoenvironmental information into their archaeological or non-archaeological research projects.'
Landscape History, 30.2, 2009 - Frank Chambers
Davies does not claim to be replacing the out-of-print text by Evans, but he could easily lay claim to the best recent synthesis on the use of snails in palaeoecology and archaeology.'
Environmental Archaeology 15.1, 2010 - Mike Allen
At last we have a new book on snails in archaeology... undoubtedly a welcome addition, not only to the conchological shelf, but also to that of environmental archaeology.'
Journal of Archaeological Science, Vol XXX, No, 1, 2009 - Chris O. Hunt
This is a very important volume which will provide a benchmark for years to come... deserves a wide readership, not only among those with a specialist interest in molluscs, but also much more widely in the Archaeological and Quaternary Research communities.'
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781842173176
  • Publisher: Oxbow Books
  • Publication date: 7/1/2008
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents


1 Introduction to molluscan analysis : principles and practice 1
2 Neoecology : aspects of distribution and habitat-based studies 12
3 Late-glacial and postglacial environmental change : the molluscan framework 43
4 Modern and past : archaeology and land-use histories 51
5 Archaeology : monuments, contexts and land-use histories 67
6 Tufa deposits 86
7 Overbank alluvium 101
8 Colluvium, scree and cave deposits 119
9 Blown sand and associated contexts 130
10 Freshwater deposits 142
11 Epilogue : future directions 157 App. 1 Habitat classification and ecological groups 159 App. 2 Notes on British species ecology and identification : freshwater and brackish species 166 App. 3 Habitat preferences of the Sphaeriidae in Switzerland 171 App. 4 Notes on British species ecology and identification : terrestrial species 173 References 180 Index 194
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