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A panyological study of the impact of man on the landscape of central Southern England, with special reference to the chalklands

Waton, Paul Vernon (1983) A panyological study of the impact of man on the landscape of central Southern England, with special reference to the chalklands University of Southampton, Department of Geography, Doctoral Thesis , 450pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)


The investigation was formulated to clarify and supplement the limited
palaeoenvironmenta1 evidence available from the chalklands of central
southern England. Pollen analysis was the principal technique utilised.
Only two deposits within the chalk outcrop contained sufficient fossil
pollen for analysis: a riverine peat north of Winchester and a mire in
clays overlying chalk at Snelsmore in Berkshire. Consequently, five
sites peripheral to the chalk were also examined: Amberley in Sussex,
Rimsmoor, Okers and Kingswood in Dorset and Woodhay in Berkshire,

The sequence from Winchester provides evidence for the Boreal and
Atlantic woodland of the chalk and exhibits an early Ulmus decline
clearance. Open conditions appear to have prevailed in at least this
area of the Hampshire Downs since the Early Neolithic. The Snelsmore
data show that from the end of the UImus decline clearance, woodland was
a more common feature of the local landscape.

The peripheral sites in general exhibit phases of woodland clearance and
regeneration similar to sites elsewhere in Britain. At several of these
peripheral sites there is a good correlation between the chronology of
episodes in the pollen diagrams and archaeological events on the
chalklands, although the representation of pollen from vegetation on the
chalk outcrop may have been low. The rapidly accumulating peat at Rimsmoor
shows clearance episodes in considerable detail and at Kingswood a phase
of Mesolithic disturbance may be recorded.

It is proposed that certain areas of the chalk, such as that around
Winchester, have been characterised by an essentially open landscape
since the Early Neolithic. In other areas, however, as perhaps typified
by the Snelsmore analysis, woodland was more common. Edaphlc and
socio-economic reasons are advanced for these differences.

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Published date: 1983
Organisations: University of Southampton


Local EPrints ID: 194319
PURE UUID: db347242-3a1f-45dc-833b-f3cb0efd24f6

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Date deposited: 26 Jul 2011 15:20
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:27

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Author: Paul Vernon Waton
Thesis advisor: Keith Barber

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