Niche Construction and Plant Use in the Mesolithic
My research project focuses on examining the land-use and plant-use of Ireland’s first Mesolithic (8000BC-4000BC) settlers within a broader European context. Archaeological and palaeoenvironmental has recently been used to suggest that some Mesolithic “hunter-gatherers” in Europe actively managed woodlands but this has never been tested in Ireland. My research seeks to redress this situation by combining extant archaeobotanical data with new, high-resolution archaeobotanical and palynological analyses. The results will be interpreted using niche construction theory to explore the nature, impact and timing of Ireland’s first people’s palaeoenvironmental interactions, substantially improving our understanding of Mesolithic hunter-gatherer settlement patterns and subsistence strategies.
AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership