Bogged down in history

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article explains how tin was exploited became clear when Andy Meharg and colleagues Kevin Edwards and Ed Schofield got stuck into two West Country peat bogs. These bogs have been soaking up atmospheric pollution for centuries and they hoped that pollution would include traces of tin released into the atmosphere from mining and tin working. The cores showed that, at most, there was only sporadic atmospheric deposition of tin into the peat during the Bronze Age, between around 2500 and 800BC, and this pattern continued until early Roman colonization, around AD100. Findings imply that tin mining and trading was highly organized in early medieval Britain and, together with finds like Sutton Hoo and the Staffordshire gold hoard discovered in 2009, this suggests that 'Dark Age' society was technologically richer and more organized than many people assume.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-25
Number of pages2
JournalPlanet Earth
Issue numberSummer
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • anthropology
  • archaeology
  • natural resources


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