Uncovering Exmoor's Prehistoric Past
Evidence for past environments is contained within many buried archaeological deposits, but upland peat bogs and valley mires are especially rich locations. They contain a stratified record of flora and fauna which is highly detailed and crucially, datable, through Carbon 14 dating methods. In a sense they are a chronological document, or archive, of environmental change. Taken together the landscape of southern Exmoor conveys a story of continual settlement expansion and contraction around the moors as climatic, economic and social circumstances permitted.
The unfavourable climate and soil and the existence of Exmoor Royal Forest protected large parts of Exmoor's moorland from cultivation.