Land Clearance in the Irish Neolithic: New Evidence and Interpretation

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Science  07 May 1971:
Vol. 172, Issue 3983, pp. 560-562
DOI: 10.1126/science.172.3983.560


Time scales are derived, from radiocarbon dating of pollen diagrams, for Neolithic land clearance at three Irish sites. Three stages are distinguished beginning in the 4th millennium B.C.: stage A, clearance and farming (possibly arable), 100 to 400 years; stage B, farming (possibly pastoral), 150 to 200 years; and stage C, forest regeneration, 50 to 100 years.