Download An environmental history of Great Britain: from 10,000 years by Ian G Simmons PDF

By Ian G Simmons

This can be a background of our environment in England, Wales, and Scotland, and of the interactions of individuals, position, and nature because the final ice sheet withdrew a few 10000 years in the past. it's fascinated with the altering cultures (in the whole anthropological feel) of the peoples inhabiting Britain in addition to with the surroundings they reworked, exploited, abused, and adored.

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Extra info for An environmental history of Great Britain: from 10,000 years ago to the present

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Along with the changing vegetation came different animal communities. The rate of establishment of the Holocene climatic patterns can in fact be traced most effectively from insect remains in peats and lake muds, since these creatures responded more quickly than plants to temperature fluctuations and in any case could migrate more rapidly. 8000 BP. Of greatest interest perhaps are the populations of large mammals. Two characteristic mammals of the tundra are reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and wild horse.

In spite of the fires the tree-line moved up slowly between 6800 BP and 5500 BP, which probably signifies a continuing response to climatic change. Given that exposure, rock type and slope are all additional variables, it is to be expected that the impacts of burning at the upper edge of woodland are highly variable from place to place. 18 In many investigations, estimates of areas involved in disturbance rely simply upon the degree to which certain pollen frequencies alter. The outstanding example of a more reliable data-set comes from Waun-Fignen-Felen on the Black Mountain of South Wales, where analysis of multiple profiles within a small basin has allowed the construction of a series of diagrams reconstructing the vegetation at 8000, 7500, 6500, 5700, 4700 and 3700 BP.

25 The possible role of humans In the above account, there are places where the natural processes appear to fail to give satisfactory explanations of the phenomena inferred from the palaeoecological evidence. It is time, therefore, to turn to human societies as possible forcers of change in ecosystems. It is clear from the archaeological discussion that the later Mesolithic people had no very advanced technology with which to manipulate their environment. The visible tools are not massive, for example, nor are they highly honed as with the Neolithic polished stone axes which have been shown to be so effective in cutting trees.

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