An environmental history of Great Britain: from 10,000 years by Ian G Simmons

By Ian G Simmons

This can be a background of our surroundings in England, Wales, and Scotland, and of the interactions of individuals, position, and nature because the final ice sheet withdrew a few 10000 years in the past. it really is inquisitive about the altering cultures (in the complete anthropological feel) of the peoples inhabiting Britain in addition to with the surroundings they reworked, exploited, abused, and loved.

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Source: Redrawn from M. Bell and M. J. C. Walker, Late Quaternary Environmental Change, Harlow: Longman, 1992, p. 13. 30 An Environmental History of Great Britain (in the sixteenth century in Scotland) it could have been a powerful influence on woodland environments. It is not certain that European beaver built dams though they would have felled small trees near water. The main predator on the large herbivores was the wolf (Canis lupus). Gaps of any kind in the deciduous woodlands would have borne populations of birds like the robin (Erithacus rubecula), wren (Troglodytes troglodytes), willow tit (Parus atricapillus) and woodpeckers.

What had been the ground layer of a woodland might become a dry grassy glade with a variable amount of bracken and/or heather. Herbs which are intolerant of shade but do not require deep soils of high base status are found, including cow-wheat (Melampyrum). Another possibility would have been a dry heathy glade with accumulating mor humus and a dominance of heather (Calluna vulgaris). If the environment was wetter then there might be a damp grassy glade, with wet-tolerant grasses and herbs. The common nettle (Urtica dioica) might be found as a natural component of base-rich areas of this kind.

The antlers are thinned to reduce their weight, as are some of the skulls. Some examples have pairs of holes in the skull as if cords were attached to them. No consensus exists as to whether these were disguises used in stalking deer (something similar was used on the High Plains of North America by indigenous people at the time of European contact) or part of the ritual gear of a ‘shaman’. Since there were 21 of them, then the case for meat rather than mysticism is perhaps rather stronger, though the separation of the two may have been less wide than our current formal distinction between supermarket and shrine.

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