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Making the Most of it: Late Prehistoric Pastoralism in the Avon Levels, Severn Estuary

  • Julie Gardiner (a1), Michael J. Allen (a1), Sheila Hamilton-Dyer (a2), Moira Laidlaw (a1) and Robert G. Scaife (a3)...

Abstract

A combination of archaeological and palaeo-environmental field work in the Avon Levels, western England, has enabled a much better understanding to be reached of the complex Holocene sedimentation in this part of the Severn Estuary, and of the close relationship between the upper part of that sequence and opportunities for exploitation of this wetland region during the later prehistoric and Romano-British periods. This paper explores that relationship, focusing in particular on two Iron Age to Romano-British sites. Both sites, at Hallen and Northwick, appear to have been short-lived and only seasonally occupied in order to exploit rich grazing but this occupation took place at different times and within rather different patterns of land-use. The paper concludes with an outline model for the human use of the Avon Levels from the Neolithic to Romano-British periods.

Une combinaison de prospections archéologiques et paléo-environmentales dans les Avon Levels, dans l'ouest de l'Angleterre, nous a permis d'arriver à une bien meilleure compréhension de la complexité de la sédimentation holocène dans cette partie de l'estuaire de la Severn, et des liens étroits entre la partie supérieure de cette séquence et les opportunités d'exploitation de cette région marécageuse pendant la période finale de la préhistoire et la période romano-britannique. Cette étude explore ces liens, se concentrant en particulier sur deux sites allant de l'âge du fer à la période romano-britannique. Ces deux sites, à Hallen et Northwick, semblent avoir été de courte durée et n'avoir été occupés qu'à la belle saison afin d'en exploiter les riches pâturages, mais cette occupation a eu lieu à des périodes différentes et dans le cadre de systèmes d'utilisation de la terre très différents. Cette étude se termine sur une proposition de modèle de l'utilisation humaine des Avon Levels du néolithique à la période romano-britannique.

Una combinación de trabajos de campo arqueológicos y paleo-ambientales en los Avon Levéis, al oeste de Inglaterra, ha permitido llegar a una mejor comprensión de la compleja sedimentación durante el holoceno en esta parte del estuario del rio Severn, y de la estrecha relación entre la parte superior de la secuencia y las oportunidades de explotación de esta zona húmeda durante la tardía prehistoria y el periodo romano-británico. Este trabajo explora esa relación, concentrandose en particular en dos yacimientos de la edad del hierro al periodo romano-británico. Ambos yacimientos, en Hallen y Northwick, parecen haber sido asentamientos de corta duración y ocupados solo en ciertas estaciones para explotar los ricos pastos de esta zona, pero esta ocupación acaeció en distintos momentos y de acuerdo a modelos de uso del terreno bastante distintos. El trabajo termina con un bosquejo de un modelo para el uso humano de los Avon Levels desde el neolítico al periodo romano-británico.

Die Kombination von archäologischer und paläogeographischer Feldforschung in der Avon-Ebene in Westengland ermöglichte ein besseres Verständnis der komplexen holozänen Sedimentation in diesem Teil des Severn-Mündungsgebietes sowie der engen Beziehungen zwischen dem oberen Abschnitt dieser Schichten und den Möglichkeiten der Ausbeutung dieser Feuchtbodenregion während später prähistorischer und römisch-britischer Perioden. Dieser Artikel untersucht diese Beziehungen, wobei er sich besonders auf zwei eisenzeitliche bis römisch-britische Fundplätze konzentriert. Beide Orte, Hallen und Northwick, scheinen kurzlebig gewesen und nur saisonal genutzt worden zu sein um ergiebige Weideflächen zu nutzen, doch fand diese Nutzung während verschiedener Zeiten und innerhalb recht verschiedener Systeme der Landnutzung statt. Der Artikel schließt mit einer Modellskizze der Nutzung der Avon-Ebene vom Neolithikum bis zur römisch-britischen Zeit.

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Making the Most of it: Late Prehistoric Pastoralism in the Avon Levels, Severn Estuary

  • Julie Gardiner (a1), Michael J. Allen (a1), Sheila Hamilton-Dyer (a2), Moira Laidlaw (a1) and Robert G. Scaife (a3)...

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