A palaeoecological and archaeological analysis of plant macrofossils from monolith 4A800B3-6 at L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland

Speller, Jeffrey G. (2022) A palaeoecological and archaeological analysis of plant macrofossils from monolith 4A800B3-6 at L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Peatlands are excellent foci of study due to their ability to act as archives of palaeoecological and archaeological proxy data, as the organic materials which constitute such data do not readily decompose within these waterlogged and acidic environments. Proxy data can be analyzed to discern how peatlands came to form through internal and external processes. Both natural and cultural (i.e., anthropogenic) forces are important external influences upon peatland formation. This study seeks to discern how a peat bog area at the archaeological site of L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland formed as a result of natural successional processes and anthropogenic disturbance. This is accomplished through the use of a high temporal resolution (sub-centimetre) plant macrofossil analysis and radiocarbon age-depth modelling undertaken on a monolith (4A800B3-6) retrieved from a peat bog close to the main settlement terrace at the site. Through the application of this method, it is found that human-mediated disturbance (fire and trampling) and biophysical drivers (climate) each played a role in forming the peat sequence. Several different possibilities are offered for which particular cultural groups might be behind the disturbances in the peatland—which include the Norse but also Indigenous groups.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/15833
Item ID: 15833
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 130-161)
Keywords: palaeoecology, plant macrofossils, environmental archaeology, L'Anse aux Meadows, peatlands, Newfoundland and Labrador
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Archaeology
Date: October 2022
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.48336/EV7W-F306
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Peatlands--Newfoundland and Labrador--L’Anse aux Meadows; L’Anse aux Meadows--Antiquities; Newfoundland and Labrador--Antiquities; Environmental archaeology--Newfoundland and Labrador--L’Anse aux Meadows; Paleoecology--Newfoundland and Labrador--L’Anse aux Meadows; Plants, Fossil Newfoundland and Labrador--L’Anse aux Meadows

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