Late Holocene palaeoenvironmental evolution of the northern harbour at the Elaiussa Sebaste archaeological site (south-eastern Turkey): evidence from core ELA6

Romana MELIS, Maria Pia BERNASCONI, Ester COLIZZA, Federico DI RITA, Eugenia EQUINI SCHNEIDER, Emanuele FORTE, Maria Eugenia MONTENEGRO, Nevio PUGLIESE, Marco RICCI
2015 Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences  
The ancient site of Elaiussa Sebaste (SE coast of Turkey) was one of the main trading harbours of the Mediterranean, growing in the Augustan period and maintaining its prestige until the Byzantine era. The Arabic invasion that occurred in the second half of the 7th century AD marked its definitive abandonment. A very prominent historical topic concerns the palaeoenvironmental evolution of the northern and southern harbours of Elaiussa Sebaste, including their decline and burial. A wide
more » ... al. A wide interdisciplinary study plans to analyse 8 cores drilled in the modern plains, which correspond to the setting of the 2 harbours basins. This geoarchaeological investigation aims to provide a first model of the environmental evolution recorded in the northern port basin, obtained by means of litho-and biofacies analyses from one of the 8 cores (ELA6) that best represents a good reference-succession in order to interpret this evolution. It consists of sediments deposited in a timespan from the 2nd century BC to the 6th century AD, corresponding to the developments of the ancient town and its harbours. The geophysics evidences the depth of the bedrock and the overlaying deposits. Sedimentology, macropalaeontology, and micropalaeontology define a sequence of shallow marine palaeoenvironments, with clear influence of fresh water. The palynology focuses the attention on a short core-interval corresponding to the timespan of 150-190 AD approximately, when the human impact might have controlled this evolution by building and cultivating. A hypothetical scenario might link some natural events (i.e. the uplift of the area, the increase of the sedimentation rate) to the human impact. These causes may have resulted in the siltation of the harbour that finally ended all harbour-related activities. During the timespan of the 2nd century BC to the 4th century AD, the northern harbour of Elaiussa-Sebaste may represent a good test to apply the Ancient Harbour Parasequence.
doi:10.3906/yer-1504-10 fatcat:cknxq73lwbgt5c3zrn3nk237pm