Author(s): Sian E Rees
Ponds, as sources of water, are of fundamental importance to man. However what is now regarded as a pond may have been a natural water source exploited by man at different times to meet different needs, or may have been created for a multitude of different purposes—e.g. domestic or agricultural use, for transport, defence, ritual or industrial use, social aggrandizement or the creation of the picturesque. 2. Existing natural or older man-made ponds may hold peat deposits, of great importance for palaeo-environmentalists, or may have preserved archaeological features or artefacts or environmental data which would have perished in a dry environment. 3. Modern ponds, created in suitable locations for water retention, for conservation or recreational purposes, may well be found to overlie ancient water sources. Damage may inadvertently be done to ancient structures or environmental deposits if the scheme does not take archaeological considerations into account at the planning stage. 4. The historical and cultural importance of ponds and their archaeological potential is emphasized. The vulnerability of ponds is discussed, and recommendations made for improved liaison between archaeologists and ecologists. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.