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Living with the Flood

Paul, Samantha, COLLS, Kevin and Chapman, Henry (2015) Living with the Flood. Oxbow Books, Oxford. ISBN ISBN 978-1-78297-966-1

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Abstract or description

River valleys have been a focus for human activity since the early Holocene and, in addition to providing abundant archaeological evidence for this interaction, the proximity to water also highlights the potential for the preservation of archaeological remains and palaeoenvironmental source material. However, human activity within the areas of river valleys also commonly bridges locals of both wetland and dryland; ecological areas that are often approached using quite different archaeological methods and which present considerable differences in levels of archaeological visibility and preservation. Hence, there have been few studies that have explored the interface between these two different zones as a single archaeological landscape. This book details the results of the study at a wetland/dryland interface on the edge of palaeochannels from the River Cam in Cambridgeshire. Through the integrated archaeological and palaeoenvironmental analysis of a site to the east of Sawston, a detailed picture of life on the edge of the loodplain from the late glacial to the post-Medieval periods has been developed. At the heart of this is the relationship between people and their changing environment; a shifting pattern of occupation and more transitory activity as the riparian landscape in a wooded setting became a wetland within a more openly grazed environment. The high levels of preservation, owing to the masking effects of alluviation and colluviation, mean that the site has revealed a range of building construction processes during a variety of different periods, along with complex patterns of artefact and waste deposition. The research at Sawston has reinforced the value of studying the archaeology of river valley landscapes, and has highlighted how, despite the challenges of archaeological visibility using traditional methods, the processes of accretion within these environments can result in considerable preservation, presenting a more detailed and complete picture of past human activity at the wetland/dryland interface.

Item Type: Book / Proceeding
Uncontrolled Keywords: INCL
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Sciences > Sciences
Depositing User: Kevin COLLS
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2016 13:31
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:44

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