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The humble snail and landscape archaeology

2 February 2013

In Parker-Pearson's recent book on Stonehenge he described how snails were able to give a clue about the Neolithic environment on Salisbury Plain – open grassland rather than enclosed woodland. At http://phys.org/print278774944.html … snails have been used to show differences in weather and climate in the Mediterranean region, and they discovered that for large parts of the Holocene some places had not been as hot and dry as it is in the modern world. The research, written up in Quaternary International, indicates that when the first farmers reached Italy and Spain it was warm, wet, and humid. However, conditions on the Atlantic coast of northern Spain were much as they are today, showing little change. In southern Spain and in Sicily and the toe of Italy, conditions were distinctly wet and warm, but this is a general climate peep show rather than one that might display evidence of peaks and troughs. See also www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1040618213000438

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