Archive for the ‘Archeology’ category

Homo erectus skull dating with cosmogenic nuclides in Denizli

January 21, 2014

Newly  obtained cosmogenic ages challenge our current knowledge of the Anatolian Homo erectus dispersal. A new discovery within a travertine quarry from Denizli was made by Cihat Alçiçek from Pamukkale University and his colloquies, Lebatard et al. (published in EPSL vol. 390). The burial ages determined on pebbles from conglomeratic levels framing travertine unit that bears the fossil. “The actual age of the fossils is likely to be in the 1.1–1.3 Ma range”, they report. This date is in close agreement with the paleoanthropological conclusions based on morphometric comparisons. The Turkish Homo erectus belongs to the Chinese and African fossil groups, and is different from Middle and Upper Pleistocene specimens. It attests to the antiquity of human occupation of the Anatolian Peninsula. please refer to http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2013.12.031 for more information.

Screen shot 2014-01-21 at 11.55.58skull

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Sedimentary deposits in the Istanbul’s Byzantine harbour

January 27, 2012

Bony et al. published an interesting study in Quaternary International about a Byzantine harbour (Theodosian harbour) which has been uncovered during excavations in Istanbul. The stratigraphic sequence goes back to 7000 BP. In the marine part of the sedimentary sequence, the authors interpreted high-energy deposit as tsunami deposits and related to the earthquake of 557 AD. You can find more info at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2011.03.031.

Source: nautarch.tamu.edu

A new tree-ring data from western Anatolia

February 8, 2011

Kose et al. 2011 have published a new data set on May-June precipitation of the Late Holocene obtained from 17 black pine tree-rings. Their study was published in the Journal of Quaternary Research. May–June precipitation reconstructions contain mostly one-year and, less commonly, two-year drought events. The longest consecutive dry period was in between 1925–1928 AD. The driest year was 1887. The wettest years for the entire western Anatolia were determined to be AD 1835, 1876, 1881 and 1901. They claimed that the study provides a better understanding of agricultural drought and management of regional water resources. For more information, please refer to doi:10.1016/j.yqres.2010.12.005

 

Bronze age vegetation in the Middle East

August 22, 2010

by George Perfors

Deckers and Pessin have published a paper in the Quaternary Research about the Bronze age vegetation changes in the Middle Euphrates and Upper Jazirah (Syria and Turkey) based on more than 51,000 charcoal fragments of more than 380 samples from nine Bronze Age sites. Human impacts first took place within the riverine forests, and followed by land clearing within the woodland steppe. Local wood supplies at that time were still available despite the increased deforestation. For details, doi:10.1016/j.yqres.2010.07.007

Drought in the Fertile Crescent

June 14, 2010

Trigo et al. have published a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Forest Meteorology about the recent drought period (driest since 1940) in the Fertile Crescent (today’s south-eastern Turkey, eastern Syria, northern Iraq and western Iran). Precipitation decline was mostly noticeable over Iraq (up to 70%), with the suppression of rainfall particularly acute during 2007–2008. They characterized the drought in temporal and spatial scales and performed the first assessment on the associated impact in the hydrology, vegetation dynamics and cereal productions. They claimed a great impact on cereal production (wheat and barley) in the region and showed that the major grain-growing countries in the area (Syria, Iraq and Iran) were significantly affected by this drought, particularly in the year 2008. doi:10.1016/j.agrformet.2010.05.006

Image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided by the United State Department of Agriculture Foreign Agriculture Service and processed by Jennifer Small and Assaf Anyamba, NASA GIMMS Group at Goddard Space Flight Center.

Sea level changes and vertical land movement in the Eastern Mediterranean

June 8, 2010

A new paper, published in the Quaternary International, provides new relative sea level data inferred from 13 archaeological sites along the coastal regions of Turkey and Israel. Anzidei et al. uses these archeological site positions with respect to the present sea level to measure of sea level changes for the last two millennial. For detail information please refer to doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2010.05.005