Identifying social transformations and crisis during the pre-Monastic to post-Viking era on Iona: new insights from a palynological and palaeoentomological perspective

Jones, S. E., Allison, E. P., Campbell, E. , Evans, N., Mighal, T. and Noble, G. (2020) Identifying social transformations and crisis during the pre-Monastic to post-Viking era on Iona: new insights from a palynological and palaeoentomological perspective. Environmental Archaeology, (doi: 10.1080/14614103.2020.1713581) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

Iona is renowned for its early monastery, founded following the arrival of Columba in AD 563. This paper uses palaeoecological data to provide insight into the social and environmental transformations that influenced the landscape of Iona during the later prehistoric and historic periods. The identification of cereal pollen suggests that arable farming occurred during the Bronze Age and possibly continued through the Iron Age. Pastoral farming was also practiced. It remains unclear as to whether there were people living on the island at the time of the monastic community’s arrival. Between AD 630 and 1100, woodland clearance and farming occurred. There were also two phases of woodland regeneration and agricultural decline. The first phase coincides with the period of Viking raids and may have witnessed a decline in population. The second phase occurred in conjunction with increased Scandinavian influence and political restructuring across the wider region; however, small-scale farming continued. After c. AD 1000 there was renewed intensification of landscape management prior to the arrival of Benedictine monks and Augustinian nuns (c. AD 1200). This may be linked to climatic amelioration during the Medieval Warm Period and economic growth in the Hebrides.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Campbell, Dr Ewan
Authors: Jones, S. E., Allison, E. P., Campbell, E., Evans, N., Mighal, T., and Noble, G.
Subjects:D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Journal Name:Environmental Archaeology
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1461-4103
ISSN (Online):1749-6314
Published Online:19 January 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Association for Environmental Archaeology
First Published:First published in Environmental Archaeology 2020
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
304118Iona Excavations 2018Ewan CampbellHistoric Environment Scotland (HISTSCOT)CNR-G/3021/18/1Arts - Archaeology