Download e-book for kindle: An environmental history of Great Britain: from 10,000 years by Ian G Simmons

By Ian G Simmons

ISBN-10: 0748612831

ISBN-13: 9780748612833

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 really is involved in the altering cultures (in the complete anthropological feel) of the peoples inhabiting Britain in addition to with the surroundings they reworked, exploited, abused, and adored.

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

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3 Given that the rate of rise around Great Britain during the hunter-gatherer time was probably 1 cm/yr, then many of the areas important to hunter-gatherer societies for resources may have been far from equilibrium. 1 conceal short-term advances and retreats. In Great Britain, one example of rapid change is given by the events in the Fenland of East Anglia. The hunter-gatherer populations of this area lived on a flat but welldrained plain until the seventh millennium bc. Rising sea levels after 6850 bc caused water to back up in the rivers and allow peat accumulation in the deeper river valleys.

Most archaeologists agree that dugout canoes of the type found in Mesolithic Denmark and Ireland would have been confined to rivers and lakes but that skin boats (which leave few if any traces in the archaeological record) would have been much more sea-worthy in, for example, the Irish Sea and the Inner Hebrides. Skill in constructing such boats would have given people access to such food sources as the birds, chicks and eggs of offshore islands and otherwise inaccessible cliffs, to the shellfish beds of similar islands and reefs, and to offshore populations of fish, some of which are known to be seasonal.

The map of vegetation in the mid-Holocene gives us one datum line for future changes, namely that woodland of one kind or another is by far the dominant type of environmental system. Though some areas were too high or too wet or geomorphologically unstable, the tendency in most parts of Great Britain was for forest to develop wherever the conditions allowed it. If we were to have a concept of ‘natural ecosystems’ then it would be one in which there was preponderance of woodlands. While allowing therefore that there was no equilibrium between climate, soils and vegetation in the middle of the Holocene, we can nevertheless accept that many ecological systems thereafter were carved out of a forest matrix and that later still, successor environments might still show some traces of that origin.

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


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