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Archaeology and environment in the vale of York

Buckland, P. C. (Paul C.) (1977)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This research is united by both geographical area, principally the Vale of York, and methodology, stressing the use of insect remains in interpreting archaeological environments. Firstly the Cover Sands of North Lincolnshire and the Vale of York are considered. A terminal Devensian age is suggested for the majority of this extensive aeolian deposition and evidence for mode of origin and palaeoenvironment is discussed, with particular regard to insect faunas from within the Sands at Flixborough and Messingham, near Scunthorpe. A brief examination of the nebulous Creswellian industry in relation to the Sands is followed by the study of Mesolithic and Neolithic artifacts from on top of the Cover Sands at Misterton Carr, Nottinghamshire, and the affinities of the earlier part of this assemblage are considered with some current archaeological models of the palaeoenvironment. The trackway beneath Thorne Moor provides an opportunity to examine a local Bronze Age environment and the problems of the genesis of this lowland raised bog and also to discuss more widely the insect fauna of undisturbed forest and the effects of human interference, particularly forest clearance, upon it. The Roman sewer in York contrasts with the largely natural environments examined previously and the attempt to interpret the slight environmental data obtained leads into an essay upon synanthropic insects and the archaeological evidence for their long association with man. This unwanted alliance provides the means to reinterpret a Roman deposit, the Malton burnt grain, which has been linked with the historical events of A.D. 296. The apparent evidence for barbarian attack in northern England is reviewed and a less histrionic interpretation suggested.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Shotton, F. W.
School/Faculty:Faculties (to 1997) > Faculty of Science
Department:Department of Geological Sciences
Additional Information:

The tabulations of fossil insect identifications, together with references to more recent publications, are available in the BugsCEP database, which can be downloaded from A paper based on this research is available at /

Subjects:QE Geology
GE Environmental Sciences
QH Natural history
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:898
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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