By Ian G Simmons

It is a heritage 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 truly is excited about the altering cultures (in the total anthropological feel) of the peoples inhabiting Britain in addition to with the surroundings they reworked, exploited, abused, and loved.

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

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12 On the Hebridean island of Oronsay, shell middens are the source of detailed evidence13 about Mesolithic settlement in the period 6100 BP to 5400 BP (4150 bc–450 bc). Now some 10 m above high tide, they were formed close to the water’s edge; where the onslaught of the Highland midge might be somewhat reduced in ferocity. The middens are composed of fish remains and limpet (Patella spp) shells, and the greatest quantity of food would have come from the inshore fish, saithe; the limpets may have been bait.

13. 30 An Environmental History of Great Britain (in the sixteenth century in Scotland) it could have been a powerful influence on woodland environments. It is not certain that European beaver built dams though they would have felled small trees near water. The main predator on the large herbivores was the wolf (Canis lupus). Gaps of any kind in the deciduous woodlands would have borne populations of birds like the robin (Erithacus rubecula), wren (Troglodytes troglodytes), willow tit (Parus atricapillus) and woodpeckers.

For examples of this we have to look to the later Mesolithic and to Scotland. The gull’s way and the whale’s way Two sites in Scotland provide evidence of the usefulness of knowing about the sea and its potential harvests. On the coast of Fife, a site now 4 km from the sea has been dated to about 6300 BP. It was sited in an open oak woodland but also adjacent to saltmarsh and tidal mudflats. The chief form of subsistence debris is a midden, which is composed mostly of shellfish remains. These are dominated by two species, cockles (Cardium edule) and the Baltic tellin (Tellina bathica), but there are 38 other species of mollusc as well.

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