Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 49–64

Neolithic wooden trackways and bog hydrology

  • Wil A. Casparie
  • Aonghus Moloney

DOI: 10.1007/BF00677989

Cite this article as:
Casparie, W.A. & Moloney, A. J Paleolimnol (1994) 12: 49. doi:10.1007/BF00677989


Five wooden trackways in raised bogs located along a precipitation gradient in Northwest Europe (Ireland, England, The Netherlands and Germany), and all dated toc. 2600 cal.BC, show differences in building method related to variable hydrological conditions in the local bog surfaces. Differences in the bearing strength of the highly humified hummock-hollow surfaces can be largely attributed to differences in the climatically related water content of the peat. Water balance studies, based on current climatic data and using the concept of system-linked discharge, can explain the hydrological differences between the ombrotrophic bogs established by archaeological excavations of the wooden trackways. Active peat growth at the time of construction and building methods used indicate mean annual precipitation values similar to present reflecting the modern rainfall gradient.

Key words

Northwest Europeprecipitation gradientraised bogsbearing strengthbuilding methodsadaptations

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wil A. Casparie
    • 1
  • Aonghus Moloney
    • 2
  1. 1.Archeologisch Centrum GroningenUniversity of GroningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Irish Archaeological Wetland UnitDublinIreland