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A climatic division of the Fland-rian period. Godwin’s pollen zone Vila corresponds to the Atlantic period in Britain. On botanical grounds, the Atlantic period is supposed to have represented a maximum of temperature, the ‘climatic optimum’ of the Flandrian. Evidence from beetles, however, suggests that it may have been little warmer than average for the interglacial. Zone Vila is dominated by trees of the Mixed Oak Forest: oak, elm, alder and lime. It is initiated by the rise of alder pollen, supposed to take place at about 7000 bp, but with radiocarbon dates varying over a range of some 2000 years. Zone Vila ends with the elm decline, radiocarbon dates for which vary between 5300 and 5100 bp. Throughout the zone there is evidence, particularly in today’s moorland and heathland areas, that transient woodland clearance by Mesolithic man continued (see Boreal).

The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983Copied