Plunkett, G., Carroll, F., Hartwell, B., Whitehouse, N. J. and Reimer, P. J. (2008). Vegetation history at the multi-period prehistoric complex at Ballynahatty, Co. Down, Northern Ireland. J Archaeol Sci 35 (1). Vol 35(1), pp. 81-90.

Title
Title
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Title:
Vegetation history at the multi-period prehistoric complex at Ballynahatty, Co. Down, Northern Ireland
Issue
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Issue:
J Archaeol Sci 35 (1)
Series
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Series:
Journal of Archaeological Science
Volume
Volume
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Volume:
35 (1)
Page Start/End
Page Start/End
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Page Start/End:
81 - 90
Biblio Note
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Publication Type
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Publication Type:
Journal
Abstract
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Abstract:
Through a palynological study of a small fen peatland located within the catchment of a multi-period prehistoric complex at Ballynahatty, Co. Down, Northern Ireland, the authors reconstruct the vegetation history of the area during the early prehistoric period. The pollen record reveals tentative evidence for Mesolithic activity in the area at 6410--6220 cal BC, with woodland disturbance identified during the Mesolithic--Neolithic transitional period c. 4430--3890 cal BC. A more significant impact on the landscape is observed in the Early Neolithic from 3950 to 3700 cal BC, with an opening up of the forest and the establishment of a mixed agricultural economy. This activity precedes and continues to be evident through the Mid-Neolithic during which megalithic tombs and related burial sites were constructed at Ballynahatty. Due to chronological uncertainties and a possible hiatus in peat accumulation in the fen, the contemporary environment of the Ballynahatty timber circle complex (constructed and used c. 3080--2490 cal BC) and henge (dating to the third millennium cal BC) cannot certainly be established. Nevertheless, the pollen record suggests that the landscape remained open through to the Bronze Age, implying a long continuity of human activity in the area. It is argued that these findings support the idea that the Ballynahatty prehistoric complex was the product of a gradual and repeated restructuring of the ritual and ceremonial landscape whose significance continued to be recognised throughout the early prehistoric period.
Author
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Author:
Gill Plunkett
Faye Carroll
Barrie Hartwell
Nicki J Whitehouse ORCID icon
Paula J Reimer
Year of Publication
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Year of Publication:
2008
Locations
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Subjects / Periods:
Early Prehistoric (MIDAS)
Mesolithic (MIDAS)
Early Neolithic (MIDAS)
3950 To 3700 Cal Bc (Auto Detected Temporal)
Used C 30802490 Cal Bc (Auto Detected Temporal)
Ballynahatty Timber Circle (Auto Detected Subject))
Mesolithic (MIDAS)
Prehistoric (MIDAS)
Ceremonial (Auto Detected Subject))
Bronze Age (Auto Detected Temporal)
Pollen (Auto Detected Subject))
Burial (Auto Detected Subject))
Early Prehistoric Period (Auto Detected Temporal)
Ballynahatty Prehistoric (Auto Detected Temporal)
Ritual (Auto Detected Subject))
Neolithic (MIDAS)
Source
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Source:
Source icon
BIAB (The British & Irish Archaeological Bibliography (BIAB))
Relations
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URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03054403
Created Date
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Created Date:
21 Jul 2008