The potential role of humans in structuring the wooded landscapes of Mesolithic Ireland: a review of data and discussion of approaches
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- Warren, G., Davis, S., McClatchie, M. et al. Veget Hist Archaeobot (2014) 23: 629. doi:10.1007/s00334-013-0417-z
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This paper has two primary aims. Firstly, we review new data demonstrating interactions between people, plants, animals and woodlands in Mesolithic Ireland (ca. 8000–4000 cal. b.c.). This includes a synthesis of evidence from archaeological fishtraps, plant macrofossils, palynological indications of disturbance, and large mammal records. Secondly, we suggest that the potential role of humans in structuring the wooded landscape of the island of Ireland has been underestimated and is a key area for future research; Ireland may be an important case study for understanding the role of hunter-gatherers in influencing ecological relationships at the landscape scale. The new data demonstrate that existing models of the role of humans in structuring the wooded landscapes of Ireland are inadequate, and we suggest that new models are required.