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Forest Clearance and the Roman Army

  • W.S. Hanson (a1)


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134 Dumayne, L., ‘Invader or native? Vegetation clearance in northern Britain during Romano-British time’, Vegetation History and Archaeobotany ii (1993), 2936 = Dumayne 1993a; Dumayne, L., ‘Iron Age and Roman vegetation clearance in northern Britain: further evidence’, Botanical Journ. Scotland 46.3 (1993), 385–92 = Dumayne 1993b; Dumayne, L., ‘The effect of the Roman occupation on the environment of Hadrian's Wall: a pollen diagram from Fozy Moss, Northumbria’, Britannia xxv (1994), 217–24 = Dumayne 1994; Dumayne, L. and Barber, K.E., ‘The impact of the Romans on the environment of northern England: pollen data from three sites close to Hadrian's Wall’, The Holocene 4.2 (1994), 165–73 = Dumayne and Barber 1994.

135 Dumayne 1994, 220–1.

136 Dumayne and Barber 1994, 170.

137 SRR-4539.

138 All calibrations are derived from the Radiocarbon calibration and statistical analysis programme produced by the Research Laboratory for Archaeology, Oxford, based upon M. Stuiver and Reimer, P., Radiocarbon 28 (1986), 1028–30.

139 It is interesting to note that, when quoting the crucial dating evidence, Dumayne (1994, 220) chooses not to use the mid-point at the 68 per cent level of confidence which she uses elsewhere when quoting other dates from the same core (Dumayne and Barber 1994, 167 and 169). The equivalent date for the onset of major clearance would be A.D. 185. Where she obtains the figure of A.D. 130 is not clear, but it is not the mid-point of any of the calibrated ranges of figures which can be derived from the original date (contra Dumayne 1994, 220).

140 Most of the forts on the turf wall sector of Hadrian's Wall were of timber construction. The extent to which internal buildings in other forts on the Wall may have been partly built of timber is disputed (see W.S. Hanson, ‘Building the forts and frontiers’, in D.J. Breeze (ed.), The Frontiers of the Roman Empire (forthcoming)) but the assertions that stone footings were provided for timber superstructures (e.g. D.J. Breeze and B. Dobson, Hadrians' Wall (1987), 46–7) are largely unsubstantiated.

141 The calculations were actually produced by this author (Britannia ix (1978), 297–8), though credited by Dumayne to a secondary source.

142 Dumayne 1993a, 32–3; 1994, 220.

143 Dumayne and Barber 1994, 169–70; Dumayne 1994, 220.

144 As one of the series of papers by Dumayne (1993b) seems to acknowledge.

145 The calibrated figures given are for the full range at two standard deviations, that is 95 per cent confidence.

146 The dates indicated here are statistically the most probable, at 90 per cent or higher, within the range of one standard deviation.

147 Turner, J., Proc. Royal Soc. B 161 (1965), 343–54.

148 B.K. Roberts et al., ‘Recent forest history and land-use in Weardale, northern England,’ in H.J.B. Birks and R.G. West (eds), Quaternary Plant Ecology (1973), 207–22.

149 K.E. Barber et al., ‘Climate change and human impact in north Cumbria: peat stratigraphic and pollen evidence from Bolton Fell Moss and Walton Moss', in J. Boardman and J. Walden (eds), The Quaternary of Cumbria: Field Guide (1994), 20–49.

150 W. Pennington, ‘Vegetational history in the north-west of England: a regional synthesis’, in D. Walker and R.G. West (eds), Studies in the Vegetational History of the British Isles (1970), 72–4.

151 Davies, G. and Turner, J., New Phytologist 82 (1979), 783804.

152 op. cit. (note 147).

153 Dumayne and Barber 1994.

154 ibid.

155 Donaldson, A.M. and Turner, J., Journ. Biogeography 4 (1977), 2533.

156 Bartley, D.D. et al. , New Phytologist 77 (1976), 437–68.

157 Dickson, J.H. et al. , Nature 274 (1978), 548–53.

158 op. cit. (note 151).

159 op. cit. (note 148).

160 op. cit. (note 156).

161 op. cit. (note 149).

162 e.g. Boyd, W.E., Glasgow Arch. Journ. xi (1984), 7581; xii (1985), 79–81; S. Butler, ‘Pollen analysis from the west rampart', in S.S. Frere and J.J. Wilkes, Strageath: Excavations within the Roman Fort (1989), 273; C. Dickson, ‘Pollen analysis’, in W.S. Hanson, Elginhaugh: A Flavian Fort and its Annexe (forthcoming); Smith, G.H., Britannia ix (1978), 54–6; Huntley, J.P., Britannia xix (1988), 160–2. A similar picture is occasionally obtained from beneath the enclosing banks of Romano-British settlements as, for example, at Kennel Hall Knowe, Davies, G., Arch. Ael.5 vi (1978), 23–4.

163 S. Halliday, ‘Later prehistoric farming in south-east Scotland', in D.W. Harding (ed.), Later Prehistoric Settlement in South-east Scotland (1982), 84–7; Topping, P., PPS lv (1989), 161–79. See H. Welfare and V. Swan, Roman Camps in England: The Field Archaeology (1995), 104 and 130–1 for the camps at Greenlee Loch and Swine Hill.

164 P. Hill, ‘Broxmouth hillfort excavations 1977–78', in Harding, op. cit. (note 163), 181; Jobey, G., Arch. Ael.5 xvi (1988), 24.

165 e.g. M. van der Veen, Crop Husbandry Regimes: An Archaeobotanical Study of Farming in Northern England 1000BC-AD500 (1992), 29–47. See also Boyd, W.E., Circaea 5.2 (1988), 104–5.

166 Examples are recorded from beneath the forts at Wallsend (Goodburn, R., Britannia vii (1976), 308), Newcastle (Grew, F.O., Britannia xi (1980), 358), Carrawburgh (Breeze, D.J., Arch. Ael.4 1 (1968), 85–6), Haltonchesters and Rudchester (Gillam, J.P. et al. , Arch. Ael.5 i (1973), 83–5) and sealed by other elements of the Hadrianic frontier at Tarraby Lane near Carlisle (Smith, op. cit. (note 162), 21–3), Walker (Jobey, G., Arch Ael.5 xlvii (1965), 80–3), Wallhouses (Bennett, J. and Turner, R., Arch Ael.5 xi (1983), 66 and 74), Throckley (Bennet, J. et al. , Arch. Ael.5 xi (1983), 51–8), Denton Burn (Frere, S.S., Britannia xix (1988), 433; xxi (1990), 315), and Westgate Road, Newcastle (Harbottle, B. et al. , Britannia xix (1988), 153). Though it is disputed how much earlier than the Roman period this ploughing took place, some arguing for the second millennium (P.J. Fowler, The Farming of Prehistoric Britain (1983), 153–4), a strong case may be made for a later prehistoric context (N.J. Higham, ‘Soldiers and settlement in northern England', in R.F.J. Jones (ed.), Roman Britain: Recent Trends (1991), 96–7).

167 Maxwell, G.S., Scottish Arch. Forum xii (1980), 2554; Welfare and Swan, op. cit. (note 163).

168 Edwards, K.J., Journ. Arch. Science vi (1979), 255–70.

169 e.g. Dumayne 1993a, 34, though this view has been challenged recently (R. Tipping, ‘The determination of cause in the generation of major prehistoric valley fills in the Cheviot Hills, Anglo-Scottish border', in S. Needham and M.G. Macklin (eds), Alluvial Archaeology in Britain (1992), 111–21).

170 Hanson, W.S. and Macinnes, L., Scottish Arch. Forum xii (1980), 102–3.

171 I am grateful to Dr R. Housley for his helpful comments on this article.

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Forest Clearance and the Roman Army

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