The environmental history of a prehistoric landscape at Ballyarnet Lake, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland

Gill Plunkett, Nicki J. Whitehouse, John O'Neill

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


The recent discovery of a Middle Bronze Age settlement site in the fen peats that surround Ballyarnet Lake, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland, has prompted multi-proxy palaeoenvironmental investigations of the site and the lake basin, offering a rare opportunity to contribute to the understanding of prehistoric lake settlement in the north of Ireland. The surrounding area has a long history of prehistoric activity, and sites in the immediate vicinity include a Neolithic trackway or platform, burnt mounds, flint scatters and cropmark sites, while an Early Neolithic settlement complex occurs nearby. Palynological, coleopteran and plant macrofossil analyses on the peats adjacent to the Bronze Age settlement site provide detailed insights into the context of foundation and abandonment of the site. Environmental conditions prior to and during occupation are examined, while the fossil beetle and pollen records provide evidence for economic activity on and around the site. This investigation also looks at the extended vegetation history of the lake basin in order to explore the nature and extent of human impact on the local environment through the prehistoric period, and to identify periods of particular environmental impact and any evidence for continuity and change in settlement activity around the lake. The results are considered in relation to wider issues concerning the permanency of prehistoric settlements and the diversity of landscape use.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2005
EventSWAP/WARP Wetland Archaeology Conference - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Sept 2005 → …


ConferenceSWAP/WARP Wetland Archaeology Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period21/09/2005 → …


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