Professor Emeritus William Lovis and Adjunct Associate Professor Randolph Donahue publish on a bioturbated site in North Yorkshire

Department of Anthropology Professor Emeritus Dr. William Lovis and Adjunct Associate Professor Dr. Randolph Donahue recently published an article in the online journal Mesolithic Miscellany entitled, “Teasing spatial structure from Malham Tarn Site A: preliminary analysis of a bioturbated Mesolithic site in North Yorkshire, England.” The article examines the impact of post-depositional processes over multiple millennia on the ability to discern artifact distributions and spatial behaviors at a Mesolithic site in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

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Abstract: “Malham Tarn Site A is an Early through Late Mesolithic site at moderate altitudes in the Pennines of West Yorkshire, north-central England. The occupation is contained within a variably thick mantle of soil ranging from 10 cm to 1.5 m overlying limestone bedrock. Over several millennia the area of Tarn Site A has been subject to disturbance from human and non-human activities, including deforestation, mole and rabbit excavation, stock pasturing, and avocational collection. Random sampling and block excavation have revealed interpretable activity sets within the site area despite extensive bioturbation. Specifics of both the analysis and the spatial behaviors are presented here suggesting that bioturbation has had limited effect on the spatial distribution of artifacts across the site area.”