Pleistocene environments, climate, and human activity in Britain during Marine Isotope Stage 7: insights from Oak Tree Fields, Cerney Wick, Gloucestershire

Hogue, Joshua T, Wilkinson, Keith N, Allison, Enid, Hill, Thomas, Knul, Monika V, Law, Matthew, Perez‐Fernandez, Marta, Russ, Hannah, Schreve, Danielle, Sherriff, Jennifer E, Toms, Philip ORCID: 0000-0003-2149-046X, Young, Daniel, Westcott‐Wilkins, Lisa and Wilkins, Brendon (2023) Pleistocene environments, climate, and human activity in Britain during Marine Isotope Stage 7: insights from Oak Tree Fields, Cerney Wick, Gloucestershire. Journal of Quaternary Science, 38 (6). pp. 840-865. doi:10.1002/jqs.3512

12509 Hogue, Wilkinson, Allison, Toms, et al (2023) Pleistocene environments, climate, and human activity in Britain during Marine Isotype Stage 7 - insights from Oak Tree Fields, Cerney Wick, Gloucestershire.pdf - Published Version
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Investigations at Oak Tree Fields, Cerney Wick, Gloucestershire, in western England have revealed a sequence of fluvial deposits dating from Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 7 to 5. At the base of the sequence, a series of gravel and sand facies were deposited, initially as part of a meandering river. Reductions in flow energy of the latter and avulsion led to the development of short-lived channels and episodic backwater environments, the deposits of which are recorded as Facies Associations 1–3. Poorly sorted, probably colluvial deposits formed beyond the limit of the channel (Facies Association 4). Mollusca, Coleoptera, plant macrofossils, pollen and vertebrates recovered from the channel facies indicate broadly similar climatic conditions throughout accretion. Temperature ranges derived from mutual climatic range analysis of the Coleoptera almost completely overlap with those of Cerney Wick at the present day, albeit that winters may have been cooler when the channel was active. Further, the floral and faunal data suggest that the meandering river flowed through an open grassland environment, the latter heavily grazed by large vertebrates, most notably mammoth. Most of the botanical and faunal remains, together with four optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) age estimates ranging from 225 ± 23 to 187 ± 19 ka, suggest correlation of the channel deposits with MIS 7. The basal deposits (Facies Association 1) yielded the majority of vertebrate remains and all the lithic artefacts, most of which seem likely to have travelled only a short distance. Although only a few artefacts were recovered, they add to the relatively limited evidence of human activity from the upper Thames. The channel deposits are overlain by sheet gravels (Facies Association 5) which are attributed to the Northmoor Member of the Upper Thames Formation. These were likely to have been deposited as bedload in a braided stream environment, while two OSL age estimates of 129 ± 14 and 112 ± 11 ka suggest accumulation during MIS 5.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Early Middle Palaeolithic; Handaxe; Mammoth; Middle Pleistocene; River Thames
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human geography. Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Anna Kerr
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2023 10:45
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2024 14:17

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