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Environmental reconstruction of a Roman Period settlement site in Uitgeest (The Netherlands), with special reference to coprophilous fungi

Authors
Journal
Journal of Archaeological Science
0305-4403
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
30
Issue
7
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0305-4403(02)00265-0
Keywords
  • Palaeoecology
  • Coprophilous Fungi
  • Sordariales
  • Roman Period
  • The Netherlands
Disciplines
  • Archaeology
  • Ecology
  • Geography

Abstract

Abstract A palaeo-environmental reconstruction from the Roman Period settlement site Uitgeest-Dorregeest (northwestern Netherlands) based on samples of old soil horizons derived from sods used for building well walls is presented. The settlement was situated in an open landscape, not far from the coast, about 50 km north of the Roman–German border. The site has revealed archaeological evidence for local prosperity and trade with inhabitants of the Roman Empire. Pollen, other microfossils, fruits, seeds, mosses, mites and beetles indicate that the sods were taken from moist, slightly brackish, grazed meadows. The record of fungal spores points to the presence of dung. The various ascospore types, derived from coprophilous fungi that are generally neglected as palaeo-environmental indicators, have been described, illustrated, and their indicator value discussed.

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