Human palaeodietary analyses indicate that the Neolithic transition in NW Europe may have been characterised in coastal populations by a shift from a marine-based to a terrestrial diet. In order to test whether this shift was at least partly forced by a reduction in the size of the inter-tidal zone - from which human communities forage for marine resources - we reconstruct the areal extent of the inter-tidal zone on the Isles of Scilly over the last 13,000 years. This novel pilot analysis, which incorporates relative sea-level simulations based on glacial isostatic adjustment model output and palaeotidal simulations, demonstrates the significance of coastal topography/gradient in determining inter-tidal extent. The simulations for Scilly show only very modest changes in the extent of the inter-tidal zone across the Neolithic transition indicating minimal or no physical influence at this location for any palaeodietary change. Nevertheless, these model data contribute to an informed assessment of the changing palaeogeography of Scilly over the last 13,000 years that provides a basis for testing via field observations. Furthermore, the tidal amplitude data can be used to correct the indicative meaning of emerging sea-level index points from Scilly.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Geoscience in South-West England|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)