"Patterns" of peatland activity and climate change: a critical evaluation

Gill Plunkett, Graeme Swindles, Conor McDermott, David Brown

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Ireland's rich peatland archaeological heritage provides a substantial body of chronological data that inform about the use of boglands over the course of several millennia. Dendrochronological and radiocarbon dates are available from some 300 peatland sites, and suggest that there were distinct periods in which the use of bogs was pronounced and periods in which activity is not evident. These patterns have been interpreted by some as evidence of changing environmental conditions. This paper collates the chronological data for Irish peatland sites and examines them against a palaeohydrological proxy record from Irish bogs, in order to assess critically the relationship between phases of activity/"non-activity" and climate change. The results challenge the deterministic interpretation of wetland activity, indicating that at times cultural dynamics at times outweighed environmental considerations in prompting changes in the level of peatland exploitation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Event6th World Archaeological Congress - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 29 Jun 2008 → …


Conference6th World Archaeological Congress
Period29/06/2008 → …


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