Saturday, 1 December 2018

Environmental conference at Aarhus

I am in Aarhus, Denmark this week, participating in the annual conference of the Association for Environmental Archaeology. The AEA is a wonderful organisation, bringing researchers together to explore human interactions with past environments.

I am presenting a poster at the conference on plant remains from a Late Mesolithic lakeside platform. Derragh Island is located at the edge of Lough Kinale in central Ireland. The site contained habitation deposits and features, knapping debris and peat sediments, with evidence for several phases of use and abandonment. Exceptionally good waterlogged preservation was encountered. A wide variety of environmental analyses was undertaken, several of which have just been published by the Irish Quaternary Association (IQUA). Analyses included plant macro-remains, animal bone, wood charcoal, pollen, insects, peat stratigraphy, geomorphology and sediments. 

My poster is focused on the unusual discovery of a large cache of water-lily seeds. A wide range of plant species was recorded at Derragh, including hazelnut shell, yellow-water lily seeds and lesser celandine tubers. A very large deposit of water-lily seeds within a hollow may reflect processing of these seeds for consumption. Perhaps the seeds were being fermented before being dried, dehusked, winnowed, parched, ground and consumed. The poster explores the evidence from Derragh in the wider context of plant processing from Mesolithic Ireland and beyond.

No comments:

Post a Comment