MEM15214 - Bronze Age palaeochannels in Porlock Bay (Monument)
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Type and Period (1)
Two intertidal palaeochannels in Porlock Bay, probably evidence for a salt marsh creek system, active in the Bronze Age. The channels were excavated in April 2001 to provide contextual information for the previously excavated Aurochs skeleton (MEM15213) and to improve understanding of intertidal features exposed in the alluvial strip along Porlock Bay. Samples were taken for palaeoenvironmental analysis.  Assessment of pollen samples from palaeochannels is complicated by the potential inclusion of pollen from a range of sources; airbourne pollen from local and regional woodland plant communities, wetland and pastoral communities adjacent to the site, plus waterborne pollen from upstream (inland) plus downstream (tidal). Nonetheless, analysis of samples from both palaeochannels indicates they were probably active in a salt marsh environment with a woodland environment (dominated by oak, hazel and alder with some ash, elm and lime) with fern ground flora and some ivy growth, located on the higher ground behind the marsh.  Assessment of foraminifera from the samples show brackish foram typical of salt marsh, mudflat and marine environments, but again results are subject to similar constraints to the pollen samples and it is unclear whether the foram lived in the channels or were transported there following death.  Diatom assessment shows good preservation and an assemblage indicative of a tidal environment, not salt marsh, with increasing levels of salinity over the period the channels were active.  Several palaeochannels identified during archaeological monitoring in Porlock Bay and Marsh.  Further palaeochannels identified during archaeological monitoring in Porlock Bay and Marsh.  The monitoring of recorded palaeochannels continued and further detail was added to the extent of those previously identified, during archaeological monitoring in Porlock Bay and Marsh.  The palaeochannels to the south-east of the tidal pool appear less distinct than previously. This may be due to weathering of the fills or erosion to different channel sediments.  The palaeochannels continue to become less distinct. The channel from which the aurochs was recovered now lies largely within the tidal pond.  Deposits of sand are, more often than not, covering the perched area of palaeochannels. 
- <1> SEM6730 Report: McDonnell, R.. 2002. Archaeological Sampling of Two Intertidal Palaeoechannels in Porlock Bay: Interim Report.
- <2> SEM6723 Report: Tinsley, H.M.. 2002. Assessment of Pollen Preserved in Samples from Two Intertidal Palaeochannels in Porlock Bay.
- <3> SEM6781 Report: Kreiser, A.. 2002. Assessment of Sediments from Porlock Bay for Foraminifera.
- <4> SEM6782 Report: Cameron, N.. 2002. Diatom Assessment of Sediments from Two Intertidal Palaeochannels in Porlock Bay.
- <5> SEM6733 Report: McDonnell, R.. 2002. Porlock Bay and Marsh: Record of Archaeological Monitoring 1998 to 2002.
- <6> SEM6735 Report: McDonnell, R.. 2004. Porlock Bay and Marsh: Archaeological Monitoring 2003-2004 Annual Report.
- <7> SEM6736 Report: McDonnell, R.. 2005. Porlock Bay and Marsh: Archaeological Monitoring 2004-2005 Annual Report.
- <8> SEM6729 Report: McDonnell, R.. 2007. Porlock Bay and Marsh: Archaeological Monitoring 2006-2007 Annual Report. P.2-3.
- <9> SEM7271 Report: McDonnell, R.. 2009. Porlock Bay and Marsh: Archaeological Monitoring 2007-2008 Annual Report. P. 2.
- <10> SEM7387 Report: McDonnell, R.. 2009. Porlock Bay and Marsh: Archaeological Monitoring 2008-2009 Annual Report. P. 2.
|Grid reference||SS 87323 47841 (point) (Surveyed)|
|Civil Parish||PORLOCK, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (1)
Related Events/Activities (4)
- Event - Survey: 2014: DBA - Exmoor Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey (EEM14294)
- Event - Intervention: Archaeological Sampling of Two Intertidal Palaeochannels in Porlock Bay (EEM13948)
- Event - Intervention: Porlock Bay and Marsh Record of Archaeological Monitoring 1998 to 2009 (EEM13949)
- Event - Intervention: Porlock Bay Aurochs Excavation (EEM13946)
External Links (0)
- National Park: Exmoor National Park
- Shoreline Management Plan 2 (0-20)
Record last edited
Aug 17 2020 12:07PM
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