Economy and environment in the first millennium AD in Northern Scotland and the Northern Isles

Alldritt, Diane Marie (2003) Economy and environment in the first millennium AD in Northern Scotland and the Northern Isles. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Environmental remains taken from five, first millennium AD study sites broadly covering the Mid-Late Iron Age to Late Norse periods were analysed during the course of this research. Archaeobotanical material, including cereal grain, weed seeds, peat, seaweed and charcoal were identified and combined with other archaeological evidence, in particular animal / fish bone fragments, metallurgical finds, and the structural context. Cereal grain discoveries together with an analysis of the weed ecology, indicated agricultural intensification occurring during the later Iron Age / Pictish period. Metalworking held an important economic position in Pictish society, and an examination of the fuel resources from the study areas indicated movement and exchange in raw resources, such as wood, charcoal, and metal ore, occurring between the Northern Isles and Mainland Scotland. With the arrival of the Norse this north - south exchange system ceases to be in evidence, and it is not until the Late Norse period that inter-regional trade on an east - west market exchange basis is seen at the study sites. Research undertaken for this thesis indicated a period of pastoral expansion during the Late Norse period, particularly reflected by an increased need for fodder, and the necessity to produce surplus goods, such as dried fish, cereal grain and butter, for long distance trade. However, the beginnings of a pastoral dairying economy and intensification in arable productivity were seen in the pre- Norse / Late Iron Age period.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Camilla Dickson
Keywords: Archaeology, Ancient history, Paleoecology
Date of Award: 2003
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2003-74158
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019 15:33
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 15:33
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/74158

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