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

By Ian G Simmons

This can be a historical past of our surroundings 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 truly is all for the altering cultures (in the complete anthropological experience) of the peoples inhabiting Britain in addition to with the surroundings they remodeled, exploited, abused, and adored.

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

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These are dominated by two species, cockles (Cardium edule) and the Baltic tellin (Tellina bathica), but there are 38 other species of mollusc as well. Mammals yielded 22 species and birds 11 species; there are numerous fish bones of which only a small proportion could be identified; these were mostly cod. 12 On the Hebridean island of Oronsay, shell middens are the source of detailed evidence13 about Mesolithic settlement in the period 6100 BP to 5400 BP (4150 bc–450 bc). Now some 10 m above high tide, they were formed close to the water’s edge; where the onslaught of the Highland midge might be somewhat reduced in ferocity.

Vegetation and soils, animals At 10,000 BP, the British Isles’ vegetation was on the cusp of rapid change. 1 (opposite) The insulation of Britain during the Holocene. At 10,000 BP, most of the North Sea basin is still land, with a big embayment reaching southwards towards the Humber. 5000 BC) there are some islands of dry land left off The Wash and on the Dogger Bank but since the Dover Strait was formed early in the Holocene Britain is now essentially a set of islands. Maps courtesy of Dr Ben Horton, University of Durham.

What had been the ground layer of a woodland might become a dry grassy glade with a variable amount of bracken and/or heather. Herbs which are intolerant of shade but do not require deep soils of high base status are found, including cow-wheat (Melampyrum). Another possibility would have been a dry heathy glade with accumulating mor humus and a dominance of heather (Calluna vulgaris). If the environment was wetter then there might be a damp grassy glade, with wet-tolerant grasses and herbs. The common nettle (Urtica dioica) might be found as a natural component of base-rich areas of this kind.

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