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- PublicationThe insects, the body and the bog(Wordwell Ltd., 2005-12)The discovery of a bog body at Tumbeagh Bog, Lemanaghan, Co. Offaly, afforded a rare opportunity to examine well-preserved human remains and the environment in which they were found. Samples for insect remains and pollen were taken from close to the body. A column of insect samples from a peat section face near the body was taken, after consultation with Dr Wil Casparie, in order to provide close correlation between environmental proxies. Insects are useful environmental indicators. The habitat-specific nature of many species of beetles (Coleoptera), in particular, can help to determine the environmental conditions pertaining at the time of their deposition. From the results outlined below, it is clear that their real value to this study lies in their ability to provide a detailed picture of environmental change up to and including the time of deposition of the body
- PublicationColeoptera(Wordwell Ltd., 2005)This chapter looks at samples taken for insect analysis at various sites throughout Derryville Bog. The analysis of insect remains, particularly Coleoptera (beetles) which will be the main focus of this chapter, and their use in environmental reconstruction is relatively new in Ireland but has had a long and distinguished history in Britain and parts of Europe.
- PublicationThe insect fauna (Coleoptera) from the Neolithic trackways Corlea 9 and 10: the environmental implications(Irish Archaeological Wetland Unit, 1996)
- PublicationA study of the Bronze Age insect fauna(Wordwell Ltd., 2008)This section examines the insect remains from eleven samples retained during the excavation of site A. The samples are all from ditch fills from a variety of trenches that were dug during the 1993, 1994 and 1995 excavation seasons (§2.5.1). A total of fourteen samples were processed and examined, but three produced no insect remains and are therefore not discussed in detail.As the samples are from different trenches, the insect assemblage can be looked at in a number of different ways: the site assemblage as a whole; the phase 2 inner ditch, as most of the productive samples came from here; and comparisons, if they can be made, between the phase 2 and phase 3 ditches.
- PublicationWax and wane? Insect perspectives on human environment interactions(National Roads Authority (Ireland), 2011-08)Interactions between humans and environment over many millennia have been complex. These interactions take place against a backdrop of natural change, particularly driven by climate, but human have undoubtedly had a profound effect on the ecosystems in which they live and which they share with insects. With the passing of the UN International Year of Biodiversity (2010), it is perhaps appropriate to examine some of these interactions over the last few millennia, using examples from archaeological research.
- PublicationThe contribution of insect remains to an understanding of the environment of Viking-age and medieval Dublin(Four Courts Press, 2003)This paper examines the important contribution that sub-fossil insect remains can make to an understanding of the environment of Viking-age and medieval Dublin. The study of insect remains is one aspect of the increasingly important area of environmental archaeology and can contribute to a more holistic understanding of archaeological contexts. Environmental archaeology seeks to use other scientific disciplines to answer classic archaeological questions of the 'why, how and what' of prehistoric and historic human activity. Environmental archaeology has a particularly significant role to play in the interpretations of urban sites because the matrix of these sites is made up primarily of organic remains – plants, wood, insects, animal bone, shell. So what of insects in particular? What can they tell us about the prevailing micro- and macro-level environmental conditions in Dublin during the Viking and medieval periods? About the use of structures at a macro-level? About the use of domestic space within structures? About the use of hinterland resources? About the seasonality of that use? And about the hinterland itself and the nature of the landscape around the town? The study of insects can contribute to the answer to all of these questions, particularly as part of an integrated environmental/archaeological strategy, and a number of case studies will be presented in this paper to illustrate this. However, it is important to start with a brief introduction to the subject as a whole and its development and subsequent contribution to urban archaeological research.