Pollen analysis of a radiocarbon-dated core from North Mains, Strathallan, Perthshire

Peter D Hulme (Author)

Jennifer Shirriffs (Author)

Kettle Hole, Ring Ditches Henge, Ring Ditch, Barrow, Pollen, Cereal Pollen, Weeds, Pollen Analysis
North Mains; Strathallan; Perthshire; Scotland; UK
Late Palaeolithic, Late Neolithic, Mesolithic


Cores for pollen and macrofossil analysis and radiocarbon dating were collected from a 6m deep deposit near the North Mains excavation area. Results are presented for the upper 3-4m which was mostly deposited between late Palaeolithic and late Neolithic times. During the Mesolithic the local landscape was covered by woodland containing a variety of deciduous trees and large shrubs (birch, oak, elm and hazel); no indication of disturbance was found in the pollen profile. The first indication of human activity is the presence of charcoal around the 100 cm depth above which cereal type pollen and a number of weed pollen types signal the arrival of Neolithic people. A radiocarbon date indicates that this happened around 5600 bp and the pollen diagram shows that it preceded the elm decline. This is one of only a few sites in Britain where pre-elm decline cereal type pollen has been recorded. At a depth of 35 cm there is a gap in the pollen pro file representing a period of at least 3000 years, starting at around 4000 bp. It is therefore probable that the core covers the period of ring ditch and henge construction but not the period of barrow construction. 


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How to Cite
Hulme, P., & Shirriffs, J. (1987). Pollen analysis of a radiocarbon-dated core from North Mains, Strathallan, Perthshire. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 115, 105-113. https://doi.org/10.9750/PSAS.115.105.113

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