Report number: 67/1989



Title A PALYNOLOGICAL STUDY OF ORGANIC SILTS FROM IRON AGE AND ROMAN CANTERBURY, KENT.
Summary Exposed sections of organic silts from two closely adjacent areas were analysed. Sediments from Section 1 lay immediately beneath the foundations of Watling Street and were presumed to be of Iron Age and early Roman period. The peaty silts of Section 2 developed around a Roman, wooden drain, itself embedded within earlier and subsequent metallings at the edge of Watling Street. Pollen analysis showed that for the periods represented by both sets of sediments, the area was virtually treeless, and that both arable and pastoral husbandry were practised. Early in Section 1, the Iron Age cereal crops appeared to have been weed-ridden and, subsequently, a pastoral economy seems to have become more important. However, an episode which involved intense burning of local vegetation appeared to result in a drastic decline in cereal growing. Evidence is presented to indicate that soon after this event, the area might have been drained and cereal growing enhanced under a regime of more efficient husbandry. Remarkable evidence of the alternate use of bracken and graminaceous plants for possible domestic purposes is also given. The Roman deposits of Secton 2 reveal evidence of progressive intensification of both arable and pastoral farming.
Series AML Reports (New Series)
Pages 24
Authors
  • Wiltshire, P E J
Keywords Plant Remains
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