The Mesolithic of the wetland/dryland edge in the Somerset Levels

Author(s): Martin Bell, Richard Brunning, Rob Batchelor, Tom Hill, Keith Wilkinson

• The project involved an audit and updating of existing Historic Environment Record data for the Mesolithic in Somerset, leading to a 40% increase in entries • Field techniques have been developed and applied to locate two stratified final Mesolithic sites with palaeoenvironmental and palaeoeconomic potential. This involved a combination of borehole surveys, geophysics and test pits to examine the evidence for Mesolithic and early Neolithic activity at the wetland / dryland interface in the Somerset Levels • Palaeoenvironmental studies provided evidence of the changing character of the wetlands beside three known Mesolithic sites, each situated on sandy burtle sediments of Pleistocene date, at Greylake, Chedzoy and Shapwick • The project has contributed to raising the public profile of the Mesolithic period locally and nationally. The project was carried out by a partnership of experts led by the University of Reading. It was funded by Historic England, who also provided support and advice for the project. Substantial additional support was provided by Somerset County Council and the South West Heritage Trust.

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