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New integrated molecular approaches for understanding lake settlements in NW Europe

Brown, Antony; Fonville, Thierry; Van Hardenbroek, Maarten R.; Cavers, Graeme; Crone, Anne; McCormick, Finbar; Murray, Emily; Mackay, Helen; Whitehouse, Nicki; Henderson, Andrew; Barratt, Phil; Davies, Kimberley; Head, Katie; Langdon, Peter; Alsos, Inger; Pirrie, Duncan

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Antony Brown

Thierry Fonville

Maarten R. Van Hardenbroek

Graeme Cavers

Anne Crone

Finbar McCormick

Emily Murray

Nicki Whitehouse

Andrew Henderson

Phil Barratt

Kimberley Davies

Katie Head

Peter Langdon

Inger Alsos

Duncan Pirrie


Lake settlements, particularly crannogs, pose several contradictions – visible yet inaccessible, widespread yet geographically restricted, persistent yet vulnerable. To further our understanding, we have developed the integrated use of palaeolimnological (scanning XRF, pollen, spores, diatoms, chironomids, Cladocera, microcharcoal, biogenic silica, SEM-EDS, stable-isotopes) and biomolecular analyses (faecal stanols, bile acids, sedaDNA) of proximal and through-crannog cores in SW Scotland and Ireland. Both can be an effective methods for revealing occupation-chronologies and identifying on-crannog activities/practices. Strong results from sedaDNA and lipid biomarkers analysis demonstrate likely on-site animal slaughter, food storage and possibly feasting, suggesting multiperiod elite site-associations, storage and protection, of valuable resources.


Brown, A., Fonville, T., Van Hardenbroek, M. R., Cavers, G., Crone, A., McCormick, F., …Pirrie, D. (2022). New integrated molecular approaches for understanding lake settlements in NW Europe. Antiquity, 96(389), 1179-1199.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 7, 2022
Online Publication Date Sep 28, 2022
Publication Date 2022-10
Deposit Date Sep 13, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 13, 2022
Journal Antiquity
Print ISSN 0003-598X
Electronic ISSN 1745-1744
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 96
Issue 389
Pages 1179-1199
Public URL
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Copyright Statement
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.<br /> <br /> Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Antiquity Publications Ltd

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