Version classiqueVersion mobile
OpenEdition Books

Archéologie de l’espace urbain

 | 
Elisabeth Lorans
, 
Xavier Rodier

Partie II. Transformations et dynamiques urbaines

Reconstructing past land use from dark earth: examples from England and France

Reconstructing past land use from dark earth: examples from England and France

Richard I. Macphail

Résumé

Soil micromorphology and micro-and bulk-chemical techniques have been applied to dark earth investigations for three decades. These methods have been successful both in identifying the origins of dark earth (e.g. weathering of, and soil formation in, earth-and lime-based constructional materials, domestic and artisan waste, etc.) and in showing how dark earth records use of urban space through time at individual sites and at different locations. Examples are given to demonstrate details of changing land use at Prosper-Mérimée Square, Tours, from Late Antiquity to early medieval times, compared to the small resettled town of Tarquimpol (Moselle), where dark earth records short-lived Late Antique occupation (~100 yrs). Late Roman, Saxon and early medieval dark earth sequences from Anderitum (Pevensey Castle), Canterbury, Winchester and numerous London locations provide analogous data, further aiding our interpretation of populations and activities. Examples of dark earth formation trajectories are given in Table 1.

Note de l’éditeur

The author wishes to thank British co-workers (John Crowther, Jill Cruise, Johan Linderholm), English urban archaeology teams (e.g., MOLA, Oxford Archaeology, University of Reading, and city units of Canterbury, Leicester and Worcester) and European dark earth colleagues (Quentin Borderie, Cecilia Cammas, Yannick Devos, Cristiano Nicosia). The Prosper-Mérimée Square, Tours (Mélanie Fondrillon, Henri Galinié, Amélie Laurent, Elisabeth Lorans and Xavier Rodier) and Tarquimpol (Joachim Henning and Mike McCormick) project contributors are also gratefully acknowledged.

Texte intégral

1Dark urban archaeological deposits, which commonly span Roman to Early Medieval Periods in European towns and cities, were termed “dark earth” during the 1970’s in the UK, using a name first coined at the beginning of the 20th century. Dark earth investigations employing geoarchaeological techniques have often included reviews of earlier work (Macphail 1981; Macphail and Linderholm 2004) and also compared examples of “early dark earth” (sealed by 3rd-4th C by Roman surfaces; 7-11, Bishopsgate and Colchester House, City of London; fig. 1) and “mature dark earth” which is more homogeneous in character; it also has a much stronger anthropogenic signal in terms of phosphate and enhance magnetic susceptibility (Macphail and Linderholm 2004). This approach has enhanced across Europe (Borderie 2011; Nicosia et al. 2012). The suggestion that dark earth is a European urban phenomenon relict of the Roman Empire has also been discussed. This was a way to advance our understanding of changing use of space in different parts of the empire, and for example compared urban archaeological information from Belgium, England, France, Italy and North Africa (Macphail et al. 2003). Some tentative steps have also been made to compare case-specific dark earth site results from England and France, employing soil micromorphology, soil chemistry, magnetic susceptibility, and microchemical analyses on the thin sections themselves (Macphail 2010). This paper examines in more detail the data recovered from dark earth sites in England and France (specifically Square Prosper-Mérimée, Tours and Tarquimpol, La Moselle); other publications on the state of dark earth research can be found in Borderie et al. (in press) and in this volume.

Fig. 1 – Colchester House (PEP89), City of London.
In this profile, soil micromorphology samples were taken through the natural buried soil, the overlying “early dark earth” and into the massive concrete and tiled post AD 350 floor of a substantial aisled building (possible
basilica; Sankey 1998). The sealed “early dark earth” records soil formation in weathered earth-based structures (Macphail and Linderholm 2004), with artefacts and coins associated with busy 1st-2nd C London acting as an entreport (Sankey, pers. comm.). The dark earth above the floor formed between the 4th C and medieval times.

FUNDAMENTAL SITE FORMATION PROCESSES

2Numerous investigations of dark earth in England permitted a model of dark earth formation to be presented (Macphail 1994; see also Yule 1990); this model was also consistent with research findings in France (Cammas 2004; Cammas et al. 1996). In brief, the model suggests that dark earth developed as a soil or sediment influenced by weathering and pedological processes after urban land use changed, or urban space became less intensively occupied. For example, it was suggested that constructions of clay and timber, or earth-based daub, and lime-based plaster and mortar structures could become weathered and develop into a “dark earth soil”, when abandoned. Activities such as robbing, demolition and cultivation (e.g., 1st C Whittington Ave, London) would accelerate this process. If this change in use of space coincided with dumping of waste, dark earth would develop as a thicker, accretionary deposit. Yule (1990) and Macphail (1994) employed the analogy of soil forming in blitzed areas of 1940’s London and Berlin, where thin immature soils (e.g.“pararendzinas”–see Table 1) developed in destruction levels (Blume and Runge 1978; Sukopp et al. 1979). This model was first applied in detail to sites in Southwark (south bank of River Thames, London) and Deansway, Worcester (Macphail 2003; 2004).

Table 1 – Examples of dark earth development trajectories from England, Tarquimpol and Square Prosper-Mérimée, Tours (France).
CW=Canterbury, Whitefriars, BISH= Bishopsgate, City of London, COL=Colchester House, City of London, DW= Deansway, Worcester, GPO= GPO site, City of London, KEB= King Edwards Building, City of London, L=Leicester, Free School Lane, P=Pevensey Castle, PM=Prosper-Mérimée, Tours, S=Southwark, Courage Brewery, London, T=Tarquimpol, WA=Whittington Ave, City of London, Win=Winchester, Northgate House and Staple Gardens.

SOME QUESTIONS ASKED ABOUT DARK EARTH

3A number of questions were asked about the dark earth in England that had to be answered before progress could be made concerning the change in urban use of space which brought about dark earth formation. Some of these questions were:

41. Is the London dark earth a River Thames flood loam (alluvium)?

52. When London and other Roman towns and cities were ‘abandoned’, was abandonment total leading to the invasion of urban areas by a wildwood vegetation?

63. More importantly, can we differentiate dark earth formed by A) a change in urban land use related to a decline in population and its activities, and B) renewed occupation of a different ‘urban’ character? These phenomena (Table 1):

73a) are clearly recorded in some English late Roman cities (e.g., Canterbury and Winchester),

83b) is likely evidenced specifically at Tarquimpol, (La Moselle), and

93c) well-documented by continuous land use at Square Prosper-Mérimée, Tours and at Anderitum (Pevensey Castle, Sussex, UK).

104. When investigating the character of dark earth and making interpretations, how can post-depositional processes (from early medieval activities, for example) be differentiated? This is, in fact, the most important question to address.

111. Although river bank-side dark earth dumps can be found over clayey River Thames alluvium at Southwark (Park St), the dark earth itself is not alluvial in character, and occurs above river flood levels generally. In Florence, Italy dark earth is intercalated with alluvium at the Uffici site (Nicosia et al. 2011).

122. A number of investigations have tried to identify the vegetation of the dark earth in England. Unfortunately, the dark earth is often a dry, oxidising environment and pollen is extremely poorly preserved in “mature dark earth” (see below). The analysis of what pollen that survives indicates only waste ground and grassland was present, as for example indicated at several London sites and at Winchester and Deansway, Worcester (Greig 2004; Scaife 1980; Cruise in: Macphail and Linderholm 2004). Rare seeds may indicate shrubs such as Sambucus was present and phytoliths seem only to come from grasses and cereals. In addition, rooting at the London Guildhall Arena site show only shrub-like patterns and no deep root bole shapes of mature trees have been observed (James Rackam, pers comm.). Thus, there is no evidence so far to indicate total abandonment of cities like London and the development of a wildwood forest. In fact, the amount of charcoal in the dark earth, and the nature of the soil and sediment development in the dark earth more likely suggest a certain amount of management. Studies at Deansway, the London Arena and Poultry sites more likely suggest that this was pasture (Macphail 2010).

133. These city areas of developing waste ground land use were utilised for ash and household middening, and space which was once subject to regulations now became a dumping ground for human cess and burials (e.g. Courages Brewery, Southwark, Deansway, Worcester). Deposits which were once calcareous became weathered humic soils, and for example biogenic earthworm granules became the subject of decalcification as dark earth soil “matured” (Macphail 1994; 2010). (These changes in use of space are detailed below employing the French city of Tours and the town of Tarquimpol; data from these examples are then included in a trajectory for dark earth development in terms of changing use of space in France and England–see Table 1.)

144. Clearly, the above interpretations (3.) require investigators to be able to differentiate the real nature of the dark earth from the effects of physical and chemical post-depositional processes associated with Saxon and medieval occupation in England. Thus, although the soil micromorphological and chemical characteristics of dark earth can be fully recorded, some features may not be contemporary with the dark earth. For instance, early medieval cess pits (e.g. in the Late Saxon burgh at Deansway), and medieval garderobe/latrine waste disposal (e.g. Norman Pevensey Castle and London Guildhall sites) can contaminate the earlier-formed dark earth with high amounts of phosphate and heavy metals (see Table 1) (Borderie et al., this volume; Macphail et al. 2008; Macphail and Linderholm 2004). This can obviously confuse the interpretation of the dark earth and such chemical data needs to be employed with caution. In reality chemical data should be compared to analytical measurements on dark earth unaffected by medieval contamination, perhaps from well-sealed contexts. For example, at Deansway there was a burgh rampart-protected dark earth. This was found to have no secondary phosphate features, and as noted above recorded pasture soil development between the late Roman (4th century AD) and 9th century AD Late Saxon occupation. Other examples of uncontaminated dark earth come from Colchester House, London where short-lived 1st-2nd century dark earth formed in earth and timber based buildings before being sealed by the mortar floors of a post AD 350 possible basilica (Macphail and Linderholm 2004; Sankey 1998). These, with other well-preserved examples of “mature dark earth” in the City of London, Southwark, Whitefriars, Canterbury and Staples Garden, Winchester, all contribute to the database and our understanding of dark earth formation. Some other sites for studying short-lived and undisturbed and uncontaminated dark earth, however, are Square Prosper-Mérimée, Tours and Tarquimpol, La Moselle, France (see below).

DARK EARTH STUDIES AT TARQUIMPOL

15Tarquimpol is a rare example of a short-lived dark earth with a dated, finite period of formation (350-450 AD, ~100 years); this occurred after the destruction of Roman Tarquimpol (by the Huns?; Joachim Henning and Mike McCormick pers. comm.) (Henning et al. 2012; Forthcoming 2012). The high Empire Roman town was replaced by a much smaller earth rampart-protected Late Antique Period settlement (Decempagi), which was located on a major road system. Archaeological investigations that included geophysical studies and coring were carried out by Joachim Henning (Frankfurt University), Mike McCormick (Harvard University), Thomas Fischer (Cologne University), Jean-Paul Petit (Centre archéologique départemental de Bliesbruck, La Moselle Patrimonie) and the Roman soils and sediments were investigated by Anne Gebhardt (Inrap). Inward-washing colluvium from the eroding rampart surrounding the settlement buried and sealed the dark earth. A small geoarchaeological study of six thin sections and associated chemical and magnetic susceptibility studies of the sealed dark earth (including a posthole fill within the dark earth), was carried out. These were compared to an example of a Roman well/pit fill dating to the earlier settlement, for example.

16In brief, the basic character of dark earth is a fine charcoal-rich soil, which also includes examples of bone, mineralised faecal waste and traces of iron slag. Bulk analyses found the dark earth to be relatively humic (e.g. 3.03% LOI), phosphate-enriched (e.g. 4.04 mg g-1 P), with an enhanced magnetic susceptibility (e.g. 9.15% χconv) consistent with it being a ‘cultural soil’ (Macphail and Crowther 2010 report). Moreover, it contained examples of turf and burned planttempered daub (fig. 2), indicating the use of earth-based building materials during the life of the settlement. As described in the 1994 formation model, such earth-based constructional materials rapidly weather into a “dark earth soil”. In addition, the posthole fill was found to be a focus of organic matter and phosphate concentration (3.25% LOI, 3.99 mg g-¹ P, compared to soil below: 1.85% LOI, 1.43% mg g-1 P), and is consistent with a microfabric dominated by amorphous organic matter of likely dung origin (Macphail et al. 2004). This posthole fill may thus record animal management.

Fig. 2 – Tarquimpol (Decempagi), La Moselle, France.
Photomicrograph showing relict fragment of weakly burned planttempered turf daub, within dark earth formed in the weathered remains of the Late Antique ~350-450 AD rampart-surrounded settlement that replaced the Roman town. The dark earth matrix soil is humic, with yellowish cess/phosphate staining resulting from middening by the in situ population. Plane polarised light (PPL).

17In summary, it can be suggested that Tarquimpol developed as a rampart-protected small settlement with, hypothetically, timber and earthbased constructions after the destruction of the High Empire Roman town. These constructions were susceptible to decay and breakdown and formed a major part of the dark earth deposit; this is consistent with analyses of sealed 1st-2nd century Roman contexts at Colchester House, London, for example. Lastly, the suggested dung remains probably relate to the housing of stock associated with local area, and perhaps were beasts of burden, etc., associated with trade and craft activities, and the inferred presence of regular army forces (Joachim Henning pers. comm.; Henning et al. 2009). It can be noted that the Roman city of Reims was apparently also “replaced” by a large oval rampart-protected settlement in the early 4th century AD; although little excavation has taken place so far, there seems to have been some re-use of earlier organised space (Berthelot et al., this volume).

PROSPER-MÉRIMÉE SQUARE, TOURS

18Various background studies contributed to our developing understanding of the dark earth sequences at Prosper-Mérimée Square, Tours, including small artefact and geophysical studies (Fondrillon 2007; Galinié et al. 2007; Laurent and Fondrillon 2010). 28 thin sections and 30 bulk samples were investigated by Macphail and Crowther. Interpretive findings can be summarised as follows, according to the phased excavation results:

194th century: In the first instance, this represents 4th century backfill deposits associated with the demolition of an aqueduct (Stratigraphic Group 1). Such deposits include poorly mixed dark and pale dark earth “soil”, and include rock fragments, bone, Roman mortar and brick. Secondly, there appears to be post-backfill dark earth development, and this occurs in ash-rich middening deposits, which are also characterised by coprolitic materials (Macphail and Goldberg 2010). Calcium phosphate materials which are autofluorescent under blue light may include embedded cereal residues and are considered to be of probable human latrine origin. The same kind of material was studied by X-ray microprobe from Structure 5 (7th-8th century – see below). There are also indeterminate Fe-Ca-P nodules which although of probable coprolitic origin, are possibly more likely to be the chemical result of pigs (Macphail and Crowther 2011). Very short-lived (1-5, 5-10 years?) soil forming episodes are recorded between dumping events. These Group 2 deposits and ephemeral soils probably record local, but not in situ, occupation and waste disposal. A similar ash middening land use testifying to continued local occupation was also found in dark earth formed, for example, in abandoned house plots in post-1st/2nd century, Southwark and early medieval (Norman) Norwich (Macphail 2003; 2005). It can also be noted that ash is a ubiquitous waste product, and within The House of Amarantus, Pompeii (Fulford and Wallace-Hadrill 1995-6) one disused room was utilised simply to store/dump ash; weathering of this ash however only dates to modern post-excavation exposure. Other rooms had become non-domestic in use, with one room being a donkey stable in AD79.

204th-6th century: The dark earth deposits which date to this period occur in Structures 12 and 14. Only Structure 14, which is made up of a series of constructed and used gravelled surfaces, will be discussed here. Soil between coarse stony layers was studied from four locations. Fine domestic occupation debris occurs throughout, and although there has been some burrowing by soil mesofauna, sufficient textural pedofeatures remain that demonstrate wash of disturbed fine soil down-profile (very dusty/impure calcitic coatings and infills between the coarse material). These features testify to the continuous construction and use of a hard standing area by traffic, but the lack of dung residues which have been studied elsewhere (including Tarquimpol), suggest that in situ activities was probably by the people who made up a local population, rather than stock.

217th-8th century: Parts of Structure 15 are characterised by anomalous compacted layers (fig. 3); the dark earth elsewhere, as described for the 4th century and ensuing periods, is typically open and bioworked. These layers are also composed of well sorted components including occupation material, and for example are still phosphate-rich (4.2-4.5 mg g-¹ P). Despite the fact that other structural remains appear to be absent, these layers are considered to be trampled surfaces relict of in situ domestic occupation associated with the use of an earthbased construction. This is also evidenced by the inferred small artefact evidence of large population (Fondrillon 2007; Laurent and Fondrillon 2010). Upper layers in this structure are ‘yellow stained’, and in thin section were found to be influenced by marked inputs of human latrine waste/“nightsoil”. Microprobe mapping and quantitative analysis confirmed the presence of calcium phosphate (probably carbonated hydroxyapatite; mean 0.85% P, max 4.53% P), embedding phytoliths and parasite eggs, for example (figs 4-5). Sometimes pure iron phosphate (vivianite) had also been formed. This evident waste disposal of human faecal waste again testifies to a very local/ in situ population being present.

228th-12th century: Multiple analyses including soil micromorphology and chemistry, small artefact, ceramic and magnetic susceptibility logs, along with historical documents, indicates that the uppermost dark earth at this site accumulated upwards as a domestic waste-manured garden soil employed for horticulture, and lastly for viticulture (Galinié et al. 2007; Laurent and Fondrillon 2010). A garden cultivation land use is consistent with its uniform organic content (LOI) throughout, its open bioworked character where biogenic earthworm granules are ubiquitously frequent. It can also be noted that manuring with ash-rich waste has maintained a high pH (pH 8.2-8.3) and these earthworm granules have not suffered any apparent decalcification, in contrast to dark earth in England where middening had ceased, and weathering had occurred (“mature dark earth”). Such gardening practices therefore indicate a local and not an in situ population – i.e. one which was dwelling elsewhere in Tours.

Fig. 3 – Prosper-Mérimée Square, Tours, France.
Compact and diffusely laminated occupation sediments (“Com”) over gravel (“Gr”) in an enigmatic feature fill in 7
th-8th C AD Structure 15. Such compacted (trampled) dark earth is atypical of the dark earth on the site, and implies that this is the remains of an earth-based building. Digital scan of whole 75x50 mm-size thin section.

Fig. 4 – Prosper-Mérimée Square, Tours, France.
7
th-8th C AD Structure 15, thin section sample M183-2A. Photomicrograph of typical yellow coloured human “nightsoil”/mineralised cess, a blue light autofluorescent calcium phosphate (probably carbonated hydroxyapatite) embedding fine organic remains, phytoliths and parasite eggs (“NS”). Secondary blue oxidation products of the mineral vivianite (iron-phosphate) are also visible (“Viv”). PPL.

23The dark earth sequence at Square Prosper-Mérimée can thus be summarised from the soil evidence as indicating:

  • Post-aqueduct 4th century demolition and backfill; weathering and likely ash-rich middening, in open waste ground, and associated with a local population.

  • 4th-6th century; e.g. construction and use of gravelled surfaces (Structure 14) by probably mainly human traffic, associated with in situ activities and local (?) population.

  • 7th-8th century; middening and trampled surfaces associated with occupation/use of a probable earth-based structure or structures, with in situ latrine waste disposal affecting the uppermost deposits (Structure 15), and indicating both in situ activities and an in situ population.

  • 8th-12th century; bioworked and domestic waste-manured soil accumulation developed for horticulture and viticulture, with a population dwelling elsewhere in Tours.

FURTHER APPLICATIONS OF DARK EARTH FORMATION MODELS

24The basic model of dark earth formation is well understood, and the character of dark earth reflects whether it formed out of weathered earth based constructions, or lime plaster and mortar materials, or ash and latrine middening areas, or zones used to stock animals, for instance (Macphail 1994; Goldberg and Macphail 2006, table 13.1-2). A table (Table 1) is presented to help demonstrate how different types of dark earth aid the reconstruction of use of urban space. This employs examples of dark earth development trajectories from England (with special reference to Pevensey Castle), Tarquimpol and Square Prosper-Mérimée, Tours (France) (Table 1).

25At some urban occupation sites the basal dark earth can record the first weathering phase at the top of the stratified Roman archaeology, where thin immature soils (e.g. pararendzinas) formed in weathering lime-based constructional debris, for example. At Square Prosper-Mérimée, ephemeral dark earth soils developed in ash middening waste mixed with lime-based demolition debris (Table 1).

26In sites where dumping ceases, the deposits will eventually weather into “mature dark earth” due to typical humid temperate pedological processes, decalcifying the ash-rich dumps. This decalcified dark earth soil may then continue to develop as a soil until affected by early medieval activities (e.g. Saxon Deansway, Worcester; No 1, Poultry, London). This “mature dark earth” has a distinctive character, and is a:

27– humic soil with decalcified fine fabric, decalcifying earthworm granules and sparse poorly preserved waste ground pollen spectra, formed out of earth-based building debris, midden waste, etc.

28In addition, changes in use of urban space can be manifested by:

291. An “upper dark” earth containing non-decalcified earthworm granules over a “mature dark earth” with decalcifying calcite earthworm granules, for example – as described above (e.g., Whitefriars, Canterbury; Staple Garden, Winchester)

302. Poorly preserved waste ground pollen spectra mixed with well-preserved pollen, including cereals and herbs (e.g., Staple Garden, Winchester; London Guildhall; King Edwards Building, London)

313. Renewed inputs of dumped calcitic ash and latrine waste/middening (Square Prosper-Mérimée, Tours; Deansway, Worcester)

324a. As above, along with inputs of dung and dung residues (e.g., Free School Lane, Leicester; Pevensey Castle, Staple Garden, Winchester; Whitefriars, Canterbury; Deansway, Worcester)

334b. Road silts (Whitefriars) with high dung content; hard standing/gravelled surfaces (Square Prosper-Mérimée, Tours) with dung residues and evidence of animal trampling

345. Traces of earth-based structures and surfaces, and in situ latrine waste disposal (Square Prosper-Mérimée), and lastly

356. Bioworked occupation-waste manured soils for horticulture (Square Prosper-Mérimée, Tours; Free School Lane, Leicester) (Table 1).

CONCLUSIONS

36A large number of dark earth sites have been studied through geoarchaeological techniques. When these findings are combined with archaeological data it has been possible to identify not only the general character of changes to use in urban space, but also some specific land use types (e.g., grazing). Total abandonment of urban space has not yet been demonstrated, although breaks in occupation, low level occupation and renewed occupation of a more rural character, have been recorded. These findings are shown in a table (Table 1) that provides some examples of dark earth development trajectories from England, and Tarquimpol and Prosper-Mérimée Square, Tours (France).

Fig. 5 – Prosper-Mérimée Square, Tours, France. 7th-8th C AD Structure 15. Combined element (Fe-P-Ca) X-Ray microprobe map of 40 mm square area of thin section sample M183-2A. This shows a calcareous (red=Ca) dark earth, with inclusions such as bone (“bo”), nightsoil (“NS”) and human coprolites (“cop”) composed of calcium and phosphorus (yellow) and iron-calcium and phosphorus compounds (white). Quantitative measurements found phosphorus present, sometimes in high amounts (mean 0.85% P, max 4.53% P); bulk analyses by John Crowther (Trinity St David, University of Wales) recorded 4.2-4.5 mg g-¹ P in the Structure 15 dark earth.

Bibliographie

REFERENCES

Blume H.-P. and Runge M. 1978. Genese und Okologie innerstadtischer Boden aus Bauschutt: Zeitschrift fur Pflanzenernahrung und Bodenkunde, v. 141: 727-740.

Borderie Q. 2011. L’espace urbain entre Antiquité et Moyen Âge analyse géoarchéologique des terres noires études de cas (unpublished PhD Thesis), Université Paris 1 – Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Borderie Q., Cammas C., Fondrillon M., Nicosia C., Devos Y. and Macphail R. I. in press. The Dark Earth in the geoarchaeological approach of urban contexts, CNRS.

Cammas C. 2004. Les « terre noires » urbaines du Nord de la France : première typologie pédo-sédimentaire, in : Verslype L. and Brulet R. (dir.) 2004. Terres noires-Dark earth, Actes de la table ronde de Louvain-la-Neuve (9-10 novembre 2001), coll. « Archéologie Joseph Mertens », Université catholique de Louvain, Centre de recherches d’archéologie nationale, Louvain-la-Neuve : 43-55.

Cammas C., David C. and Guyard L. 1996. La question des terre noires dans les sites tardo-antiques et médiéval : le cas du Collège de France (Paris, France), Proceedings XIII International Congress of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences, Volume Colloquim 14 : Forlì, ABACO : 89-93.

Fondrillon M. 2007. La formation du sol urbain : étude archéologique des terres noires à Tours (IVe-XIIe siècle), Thèse de doctorat, Université de Tours, Tours, 3 vol., 535 p. (annexes 320 p.).

Fulford M. and Wallace-Hadrill A. 1995-6. The House of Amarantus at Pompeii (I, 9, 11-12): an interim report on survey and excavations in 1995-96, Revista di Studi Pompeiani, v. VII: 77-113.

Galinié H., Lorans E., Macphail R. I., Seigne J., Fondrillon M., Laurent A. and Moreau A. 2007. La fouille du square Prosper-Mérimée. The excavation in Prosper-Mérimée Square, in : Galinié H. (dir.) 2007. Tours antique et médiéval. Lieux de vie, temps de la ville : 40 ans d’archéologie urbaine, 30e Suppl. à la Revue Archéologique du Centre de la France, no spécial de la collection Recherches sur Tours, FERACF, Tours : 171-180.

Greig J. 2004. Buried soil pollen, in: Dalwood H. and Edwards R. (eds.), Excavations at Deansway, Worcester, 1988-89: Romano-British small town to late medieval city, Volume CBA Research Report No 139, Council for British Archaeology, York: 556-558.

Henning J., McCormick M. and Fischer T. 2012. Tarquimpol. Rapport d’opération de prospection thématique 2008-2011, Institut für Archäologische Wissenschaften, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität.

Henning J., McCormick M. and Fischer T. 2012. Decempagi at the end of antiquity and the fate of the Roman road system in eastern Gaul, in: Bidwell P. (ed.), Proceedings of the XXIst International Limes (Roman Frontiers) Congress, 2009 at Newcastle upon Tyne: Oxford, British Archaeological Reports.

Laurent A. and Fondrillon M. 2010. Mesurer la ville par l’évaluation et la caractérisation du sol urbain : l’exemple de Tours, Revue Archéologique du Centre de la France, 49 : 307-343.

Macphail R. I. 1981. Soil and botanical studies of the “Dark Earth”, in: Jones M. and Dimbleby G. W. (eds.), The Environment of Man: the Iron Age to the Anglo-Saxon Period, Volume British Series 87, British Archaeological Reports, Oxford: 309-331.

Macphail R. I. 1994. The reworking of urban stratigraphy by human and natural processes, in: Hall A. R. and Kenward H. K. (eds), Urban-Rural Connexions: Perspectives from environmental Archaeology, Volume Monograph 47, Oxbow, Oxford: 13-43.

Macphail R. I. 2003. Soil microstratigraphy: a micromorphological and chemical approach, in: Cowan C. (ed.), Urban development in north-west Roman Southwark Excavations 1974-90, Volume Monograph 16, MoLAS, London: 89-105.

Macphail R. I. 2004. Soil micromorphology, in: Dalwood H. and Edwards R. (eds.), Excavations at Deansway, Worcester, 1988-89: Romano-British small town to late medieval city, Volume CBA Research Report No. 139, Council for British Archaeology, York: 558-567.

Macphail R. I. 2005. Soil micromorphology and chemistry, in: Shelley A. (ed.), Dragon Hall, King Street, Norwich: Excavation and Survey of a Late Medieval Merchant’s Trading Complex, Volume Report No. 112, East Anglian Archaeology, Norwich: 175-178.

Macphail R. I. 2010. Dark earth and insights into changing land use of urban areas, in: Speed G. and Sami D. (eds.), Debating Urbanism: Within and Beyond the Walls c. AD 300 to c. AD 700 (Conference Proceedings Leicester University Nov 15th 2008), Volume Leicester Archaeology Monograph 17, Leicester Archaeology, Leicester: 145-165.

Macphail R. I. and Crowther J. 2011. Experimental pig husbandry: soil studies from West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village, Suffolk, UK, Antiquity Project Gallery, Volume 085, Antiquity.

Macphail R. I., Crowther J. and Cruise G. M. 2008. Microstratigraphy, in: Bateman N., Cowan, C., and Wroe-Brown R. (eds), London’s Roman Amphitheatre: Guildhall Yard, City of London, Volume MoLAS Monograph 35, Museum of London Archaeology Service: 16, 95, London: 160-164.

Macphail R. I., Galinié H. and Verhaeghe F. 2003. A future for dark earth?, Antiquity, V. 77, No. 296: 349-358.

Macphail R. I., Cruise G. M., Allen M. J., Linderholm J. and Reynolds P. 2004. Archaeological soil and pollen analysis of experimental floor deposits; with special reference to Butser Ancient Farm, Hampshire, UK, Journal of Archaeological Science, V. 31: 175-191.

Macphail R. I. and Goldberg P. 2010. Archaeological materials, in: Stoops G., Marcelino V. and Mees F. (eds.), Interpretation of Micromorphological Features of Soils and Regoliths: Elsevier, Amsterdam: 589-622.

Macphail R. I. and Linderholm J. 2004. “Dark earth”: recent studies of “dark earth” and “dark earth-like” microstratigraphy in England, in: Verslype L. and Brulet R. (dir.) 2004. Terres noires-Dark earth, Actes de la table ronde de Louvainla-Neuve (9-10 novembre 2001), collection d’archéologie Joseph Mertens, Université catholique de Louvain, Centre de recherches d’archéologie nationale, Louvain-la-Neuve : 35-42.

Nicosia C., Langohr R., Mees F., Arnoldus-Huyzendveld A., Bruttini J. and Cantini F. 2012. Archaeo-pedological study of medieval Dark Earth from the Uffizi gallery complex in Florence (Italy), Geoarchaeology, 27: 105-122.

Sankey D. 1998. Cathedrals, granaries and urban vitality in late Roman London, in: Watson B. (ed.), Roman London. Recent Archaeological Work, Volume Supplementary Series No. 24: Journal of Roman Archaeology, Portsmouth, Rhode Island: 78-82.

Scaife R. G. 1980, Pollen analysis of some dark earth samples: Ancient Monuments Laboratory, Ancient Monuments Laboratory Report 3001.

Sukopp H., Blume H.-P. and Kunick W. 1979. The soil, flora and vegetation of Berlin’s waste lands’, in nature in cities, in: Laurie I. C. (ed.), Nature in Cities, John Wiley, Chichester: 115-132.

Yule B. 1990. The “dark earth” and late Roman London, Antiquity, V. 64: 620-628.

Table des illustrations

Légende Fig. 1 – Colchester House (PEP89), City of London.In this profile, soil micromorphology samples were taken through the natural buried soil, the overlying “early dark earth” and into the massive concrete and tiled post AD 350 floor of a substantial aisled building (possible basilica; Sankey 1998). The sealed “early dark earth” records soil formation in weathered earth-based structures (Macphail and Linderholm 2004), with artefacts and coins associated with busy 1st-2nd C London acting as an entreport (Sankey, pers. comm.). The dark earth above the floor formed between the 4th C and medieval times.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/7676/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 508k
Légende Table 1 – Examples of dark earth development trajectories from England, Tarquimpol and Square Prosper-Mérimée, Tours (France).CW=Canterbury, Whitefriars, BISH= Bishopsgate, City of London, COL=Colchester House, City of London, DW= Deansway, Worcester, GPO= GPO site, City of London, KEB= King Edwards Building, City of London, L=Leicester, Free School Lane, P=Pevensey Castle, PM=Prosper-Mérimée, Tours, S=Southwark, Courage Brewery, London, T=Tarquimpol, WA=Whittington Ave, City of London, Win=Winchester, Northgate House and Staple Gardens.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/7676/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 444k
Légende Fig. 2 – Tarquimpol (Decempagi), La Moselle, France.Photomicrograph showing relict fragment of weakly burned planttempered turf daub, within dark earth formed in the weathered remains of the Late Antique ~350-450 AD rampart-surrounded settlement that replaced the Roman town. The dark earth matrix soil is humic, with yellowish cess/phosphate staining resulting from middening by the in situ population. Plane polarised light (PPL).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/7676/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 272k
Légende Fig. 3 – Prosper-Mérimée Square, Tours, France.Compact and diffusely laminated occupation sediments (“Com”) over gravel (“Gr”) in an enigmatic feature fill in 7th-8th C AD Structure 15. Such compacted (trampled) dark earth is atypical of the dark earth on the site, and implies that this is the remains of an earth-based building. Digital scan of whole 75x50 mm-size thin section.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/7676/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 248k
Légende Fig. 4 – Prosper-Mérimée Square, Tours, France.7th-8th C AD Structure 15, thin section sample M183-2A. Photomicrograph of typical yellow coloured human “nightsoil”/mineralised cess, a blue light autofluorescent calcium phosphate (probably carbonated hydroxyapatite) embedding fine organic remains, phytoliths and parasite eggs (“NS”). Secondary blue oxidation products of the mineral vivianite (iron-phosphate) are also visible (“Viv”). PPL.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/7676/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 296k
Légende Fig. 5 – Prosper-Mérimée Square, Tours, France. 7th-8th C AD Structure 15. Combined element (Fe-P-Ca) X-Ray microprobe map of 40 mm square area of thin section sample M183-2A. This shows a calcareous (red=Ca) dark earth, with inclusions such as bone (“bo”), nightsoil (“NS”) and human coprolites (“cop”) composed of calcium and phosphorus (yellow) and iron-calcium and phosphorus compounds (white). Quantitative measurements found phosphorus present, sometimes in high amounts (mean 0.85% P, max 4.53% P); bulk analyses by John Crowther (Trinity St David, University of Wales) recorded 4.2-4.5 mg g-¹ P in the Structure 15 dark earth.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufr/docannexe/image/7676/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 179k

Auteur

Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Archaeology, University College London

© Presses universitaires François-Rabelais, 2013

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540