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The Wetlands of South West Lancashire (Paperback)

P&S History > Archaeology > British Archaeology

Imprint: Oxford Archaeology North
Series: Lancaster Imprints
Pages: 300
ISBN: 9781907686092
Published: 1st July 2014
Casemate UK Academic



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The Wetlands of South West Lancashire describes the results of an archaeological survey, carried out between 1993 and 1996, and of a separate palaeoecological and geomorphological programme of work initiated in 1966 by Michael Tooley. The study encompassed the main moss complexes, which lie in the area south of the Ribble Estuary, north of the Mersey Estuary, and west of the M6 motorway, and the smaller discrete mosses which are found away from the coastal situation of the larger ones. The survey identified considerable evidence of early prehistoric use of the landscape, with distinct differences between the northern and southern mosslands. The palaeoecological and geomorphological data provide information on the changing coastline in prehistory, resulting from variations in sea level, which is of immense interest today in the light of current trends in global warming and the possible concomitant rise in sea levels. These data also provide possible evidence of the early manipulation of the vegetation by humans.


After the two introductory chapters, which provide the rationale for the survey, explain the methodology, and the geomorphological and biological context, Chapters 3 and 4 describe the research in the major moss complexes, whilst Chapter 5 examines the smaller mosses. The last chapter presents a synthesis of the information and attempts to amalgamate the archaeological and historical data with the palaeoecological and geomorphological development of the landscape. It also discusses some of the problems and specific aims of the archaeological survey. In addition, the appendices provide records of new and existing archaeological sites, detailed palaeoecological information, and radiocarbon dates. This volume aims to be the source of new and existing data from which management strategies and research interests can be informed.


Authors Robert Middleton (archaeology), Michael Tooley and Jim Innes (palaeoecology and geomorphology), with contributors Jeremy Ashbee (historical), Chris Cox (aerial photography), and palaeoecologists Ann GreatRex, Margaret McAllister, and Peter Cundill, have been ably assisted by the North West Wetlands team in the production of this volume, the seventh in a series presenting the results of English Heritage's survey of the wetlands of the north-western counties of England.

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