The Historic Landscapes of the Severn Estuary Levels
University of Exeter
The Severn Estuary Levels Research Committee
[FIRST PARAGRAPH] Despite the long history of archaeological and palaeoenvironmental investigations in the peatlands of Somerset, the remarkably rich archaeology of the Severn Estuary as a whole only came to be recognized from the 1970s. Following the pioneering work of John and Bryony Coles in the Somerset Levels, subsequent discoveries elsewhere around the Estuary have maintained the region's national if not international profile. These finds are significant in themselves, but in coming from a wetland environment their value is enhanced by the integrity of their context: their association with other contemporary landscape features and palaeo-environmental evidence (e.g. Bell et al. 2000; Nayling 1998; Nayling and Caseldine 1997). In the medieval period, documentary material provides yet another source of information, and the abundant archives of Glastonbury Abbey for example, whose estates included large tracts of the Somerset Levels, have also made a major contribution to the development of agrarian history (e.g. Harrison 1997; Keil 1964).
Reproduced with permission of the publisher. Copyright © The Severn Estuary Levels Research Committee and authors, 2001.
In: Rippon, S (ed). 'Estuarine Archaeology. The Severn and beyond'. Archaeology in the Severn Estuary 11. The Severn Estuary Levels Research Committee: pp. 145-161