Dating ancient field walls in karst landscapes using differential bedrock erosion.

Author(s): Carleton Jones

Year: 2015


While karst environments present methodological and interpretive challenges to archaeologists, they also provide some unique opportunities. One of these opportunities is the ability to date field walls by measuring divergent rates of bedrock erosion underneath and adjacent to ancient walls. Field walls are traditionally difficult to date, either by using morphological typologies or through the association of diagnostic or chronometric materials. The method presented here, therefore, represents a valuable tool for archaeologists working in karst landscapes. The methodology is described along with a discussion of potential problems, drawing in particular upon evidence from the karstic terrain of the Burren in western Ireland. The methodology is then applied to a group of field walls on the Burren where independent archaeological and geomorphological evidence confirms the usefulness of the method.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

Dating ancient field walls in karst landscapes using differential bedrock erosion.. Carleton Jones. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397390)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;