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Wetland sediments are valuable archives of environmental change but can be challenging to date. Terrestrial macrofossils are often sparse, resulting in radiocarbon (14C) dating of less desirable organic fractions. An alternative approach for capturing changes in atmospheric 14C is the use of terrestrial microfossils. We 14C date pollen microfossils from two Australian wetland sediment sequences and compare these to ages from other sediment fractions (n = 56). For the Holocene Lake Werri Berri record, pollen 14C ages are consistent with 14C ages on bulk sediment and humic acids (n = 14), whilst Stable Polycyclic Aromatic Carbon (SPAC) 14C ages (n = 4) are significantly younger. For Welsby Lagoon, pollen concentrate 14C ages (n = 21) provide a stratigraphically coherent sequence back to 50 ka BP. 14C ages from humic acid and >100 µm fractions (n = 13) are inconsistent, and often substantially younger than pollen ages. Our comparison of Bayesian age-depth models, developed in Oxcal, Bacon and Undatable, highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the different programs for straightforward and more complex chrono-stratigraphic records. All models display broad similarities but differences in modeled age-uncertainty, particularly when age constraints are sparse. Intensive dating of wetland sequences improves the identification of outliers and generation of robust age models, regardless of program used.
In later life, the phrase ‘born on a farm in County Derry in 1939’ made Seamus Heaney roll his eyes. He had read it so often in the many thousands of ‘Notes on Contributors’ featuring his biography that it had become both overly familiar and unreal. In fact, the outline of Heaney’s biography is so well known that it has become part of his poetic mythology – the gifted son of Bellaghy elevated to winner of the Nobel Prize for literature and international acclaim. From the outset, Heaney’s work emerged from and merged into a complex set of historical and political contextual circumstances. The thirty-two original essays in this volume combine historicizing scholarship with critical depth and insightful new readings of Heaney’s work.
Focusing on Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again, a National Library of Ireland exhibition running for the next 3-5 years at the Bank of Ireland, College Green, Dublin, this chapter examines the process of curating and exhibiting Heaney’s archive. In exploring the transition from the private space of the writer’s room to the public place of the exhibition, the chapter probes the relationship between texts, contexts and objects in Heaney’s work. The chapter follows the trajectory of the exhibition from the earth-bound bog poems of Heaney’s early career to the airy transcendence of crediting marvels in his later work. It considers the aura of objects as well as the transformative relationship between Heaney’s creative inspiration, his writing process, the poetry and its referents.
Few poets have captured the imagination of the world like Seamus Heaney. Recognized as one of the truly outstanding poets of our time, Heaney's work is both critically acclaimed and popular with the general reader. It is taught in classrooms across the globe and has been translated into more than twenty-seven languages. Presenting original research from an international field of scholars, Seamus Heaney in Context offers new pathways to explore the places, times and influences that made Heaney a poet. Drawing on newly available archival and print sources, these essays situate Heaney in a multitude of contexts that help readers navigate received ideas about his life and work. In mapping intersecting themes in the current terrain of Heaney criticism, this study also signposts new directions for understanding Heaney's poetry in future contexts.