McCulloch RD, Tisdall EW & Cressey M (2021) Roman Frontiers and Landscapes of Occupation: Road Building and Landscape Change in the Hadrianic-Antonine Frontier Zone. Environmental Archaeology. https://doi.org/10.1080/14614103.2021.1877511
Dere Street is the Roman road which ran north from Eboracum (York), crossing the Stanegate at Corbridge and continuing into what is now Scotland. The road served a military and economic purpose facilitating the transport of troops and trade north and south across the frontier zone. Here we present a well resolved palaeoenvironmental record within the Hadrianic-Antonine frontier zone that is tied directly to the archaeological evidence for Dere street. The evidence indicates limited woodland clearance during the Neolithic and Bronze Age followed by large scale woodland clearance at c. 890 BC, with woodland replaced by open grassland indicating that throughout the Iron Age land use was primarily pastoral. Dere Street was constructed in (AD 79–81) and when the Roman road builders arrived at Dun Law the landscape was largely open. Limited local timber resources meant that hazel scrub cover was probably used to construct the road with evidence to suggest that other timber resources were brought in from outside the site. The landscape at Dun Law was predominantly grazed during and post Roman occupation and there is some evidence for shifts in intensity of grazing from c. AD 950.
Pollen analysis; Iron Age; Holocene palaeoevironments; Dere Street; woodland clearance; Scotland
Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online