A pollen analytical record for hemp retting from Dungeness Foreland, UK

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Abstract

This paper presents late Holocene pollen analytical, plant macrofossil and radiocarbon data from a sequence filling a natural pit developed in the gravel beaches of Dungeness Foreland, southeast England. Pollen analysis of organic muds from the base of Muddymore Pit contain exceptionally high pollen frequencies for Cannabis saliva L. and indicate the past use of the site as a hemp-retting pit. The timing of the pollen record for Cannabis (ca. AD 1000-1400) corresponds with a period during which the nearby town of Lydd reached the height of its prosperity and importance as one of the lesser havens of the 'Cinque Ports' confederation. It is proposed that the hemp-retting site at Muddymore Pit went a long way towards satisfying demand from the port for the products of hempen fibre such as rope (for ships rigging) and cloth (for ships sails). (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-726
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume32
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • Cannabis sativa L.
  • hemp
  • retting pit
  • rope
  • cinque ports
  • Dungeness
  • CANNABIS-SATIVA L
  • CULTIVATION
  • PROGRAM
  • HISTORY
  • CALIBRATION
  • VEGETATION
  • GRONINGEN
  • FACILITY
  • SCOTLAND
  • ENGLAND

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