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Intertidal peats and the archaeology of coastal change in the Severn Estuary, Bristol Channel and Pembrokeshire
Bell, M. (2000). Intertidal peats and the archaeology of coastal change in the Severn Estuary, Bristol Channel and Pembrokeshire, in: Pye, K. et al. (Ed.) Coastal and estuarine environments: sedimentology, geomorphology and geoarchaeology. Geological Society Special Publication, 175: pp. 377-392
In: Pye, K.; Allen, J.R.L. (Ed.) (2000). Coastal and estuarine environments: sedimentology, geomorphology and geoarchaeology Geological Society Special Publication, 175 The Geological Society: London. ISBN 1-86239-070-3. 435 pp., more
In: Hartley, A.J. et al. (Ed.) Geological Society Special Publication. Geological Society of London: Oxford; London; Edinburgh; Boston, Mass.; Carlton, Vic.. ISSN 0305-8719, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    VLIZ: Geology and Geophysics [5951]

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  • Bell, M.

Abstract
    Dates for the beginning and end of intertidal and coastal peat formation are reviewed in the Severn Estuary, Bristol Channel and Pembrokeshire. Peat formation at many sites started between c. 6000-4000 Cal BC and in the Severn Estuary continued until c. 200 Cal BC. Archaeological evidence is concentrated at two main stages within the coastal sequences. Throughout the area Mesolithic sites underlie the earliest peat and relate to coastal exploitation just prior to the transgression represented by peat formation. During the main period of peat formation from the later Mesolithic to the early Bronze Age there is only small-scale human activity within the coastal peats. A second episode of concentrated human activity is confined to the Severn Estuary and occurs in the middle Bronze Age and Iron Age. Round and rectangular buildings and trackways are associated with the initial stages of marine transgressions which led to the burial of a coastal bog by minerogenic silts. A transgression in the middle Bronze Age c. 1400 Cal BC was followed by a regression phase, the main period of human activity at Goldcliff, this ended with a widespread transgression centred on in the third century BC. The factors which attracted human activity at particular stages within the coastal sequence are considered, as is the relative visibility of human activity during each sedimentary stage. The contribution which archaeological evidence, particularly dendrochronological dating of wooden structures, can make to the dating of coastal change is emphasized.

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