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Optically stimulated luminescence profiling and dating of earthworks: the creation and development of prehistoric field boundaries at Bosigran, Cornwall

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Soetkin Vervust, Professor Sam Turner



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).


Accurately dating the creation and development of earthwork features is a long-standing problem for archaeologists. This paper presents results from Bosigran (Cornwall, UK), where boundary banks believed to be prehistoric in origin were assessed using optically-stimulated luminescence profiling and dating (OSL-PD). The results provide secure construction dates for different boundaries in the Bronze Age and Iron Age, as well as chronologies for their early medieval and later development. The paper demonstrates not only the prehistoric origins of these distinctive west Cornish field systems, but also a practical and cost-effective methodology which is suitable for dating earthworks across the world.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Vervust S, Kinnaird T, Herring P, Turner S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Antiquity

Year: 2020

Volume: 94

Issue: 374

Pages: 420-436

Print publication date: 01/04/2020

Online publication date: 30/03/2020

Acceptance date: 14/08/2019

Date deposited: 15/08/2019

ISSN (print): 0003-598X

ISSN (electronic): 1745-1744

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2019.138


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