Do insect remains from historic-period archaeological occupation sites track climate change in Northern England?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • H. Kenward


Publication details

JournalEnvironmental Archaeology
DatePublished - Apr 2004
Issue number1
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)47-59
Original languageEnglish


Remains of true bugs (Heteroptera) and beetles (Coleoptera) from archaeological occupation deposits of the past two millennia appear to provide evidence that temperatures in northern England in the 1st 4th and 9th 15th centuries AD were 1 2 C higher than those of the mid-20th century. It is argued that, although they derive from artificial conditions, if used appropriately the abundant records from occupation sites represent an important source of local terrestrial palaeoclimatic information which is easily available in the short term, though confirmatory data from natural deposits should also be sought. The potential of the bugs (Hemiptera) is particularly emphasised. The recent return to the north of some species presumed to have been driven south in the ‘Little Ice Age’ is discussed.

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