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The timing and causes of the Neolithic elm decline: new evidence from the Lower Thames Valley (London, UK)

Batchelor, C. R. ORCID:, Branch, N. P. ORCID:, Allison, E. A., Austin, P. A., Bishop, B., Brown, A. D., Elias, S. A., Green, C. P. and Young, D. ORCID: (2014) The timing and causes of the Neolithic elm decline: new evidence from the Lower Thames Valley (London, UK). Environmental Archaeology: the Journal of Human Palaeoecology, 19 (3). pp. 263-290. ISSN 1461-4103

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1179/1749631414Y.0000000031


Two new multi-proxy records of environmental change are provided from Horton Kirby Paper Mill and Old Seager Distillery in the Lower Thames Valley. Each site has evidence for a decline in elm woodland, which at Horton Kirby Paper Mill is recorded earlier than any other published record from the British Isles: sometime between 7320 and 7240 cal BP. Scolytus scolytus/S. multistriatus (the vectors for Dutch elm disease) are recorded after the decline in both sequences, adding to the number of sites with such evidence in the British Isles. Evidence of paludification and human activity are also recorded at the time of the elm decline reinforcing the multi-causal hypothesis. Integration of these results with 21 palaeoenvironmental records has produced a large number of well-dated, multiproxy records of the elm decline in this part of the UK. On the basis of this dataset, a classification system for categorising the relationships between the causal factors of the elm decline is proposed and recommended for future studies.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
ID Code:37071
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ulmus, Elm, Scolytus, Disease, Human activity, Neolithic
Publisher:Maney Publishing

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