Coastal Shell Middens and Agricultural Origins in Atlantic Europe
Coastal Shell Middens and Agricultural Origins in Atlantic Europe
Coastal Shell Middens and Agricultural Origins in Atlantic Europe    

About us

Naomi Belshaw

As part of the ‘The Coastal Shell Middens and agricultural origins in Atlantic Europe’ project at York University, my current research involves the study of the Mesolithic/Neolithic transition, my area of interest encompasses sites found on the modern coastlines of northern Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Britain and Ireland.

I have so far created an Access database to catalogue the published coastal sites across northern Europe. This database is in the process of being filled in and when completed the information will be processed using GIS to spatially establish the current distribution of sites from primarily the Mesolithic/Neolithic era.

Locating the distribution of known coastal sites will inform me on what factors could be affecting the known distribution of archaeological sites such as sea level change, taphonomy, environmental effects, coastline shape for seacraft use and past archaeological research. In particular I will concentrate on the bias represented by past archaeological research, which may have affected the known location of sites and also compare the results of my database work with predicted sea level change research being undertaken by geologists. I will compare geologists’ views on sea level change during the Holocene era with known Prehistoric archaeological remains in the same regions to test the validity of their models. Research undertaken will focus on Scotland as a case study but more general themes will be considered using the full results of my database.

Previous to this work I have also carried out Masters research on the use of high spatial resolution Multispectral satellite imagery for identifying archaeological features in the UK (2002) and I have also gained a second Masters studying the distribution of Early Byzantine Churches in Southern Jordan using GIS to investigate the distribution of early churches in relation to contemporary settlements and other sites (2000).


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