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A sediment-based multi-proxy palaeoecological approach to the environmental archaeology of lake dwellings (crannogs), central Ireland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • C. O'Brien
  • K. Selby
  • Z. Ruiz
  • A. Brown
  • M. Dinnin
  • C. Caseldine
  • P. Langdon
  • I. Stuijts


Publication details

JournalThe Holocene
DatePublished - Jul 2005
Issue number5
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)707-719
Original languageEnglish


A multiproxy study of Ballywillin Crannog, Lough Kinale, central Ireland is presented. The methodology used reveals the wealth of information that a multiproxy approach can contribute in take settlement studies. Plant macrofossils, pollen and spores, diatoms, chironomids and Coleoptera from a lake core are used to reconstruct local and regional vegetation change and lake history to establish the age and function of the crannog. The palaeoecological evidence suggests that Ballywillin Crannog was constructed around AD 620, with its most intensive period of occupation after AD 1150. Cereals and a range of gathered fruits and nuts were brought onto and cooked on the crannog, and cereal grains were possibly stored there.

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