The environmental record of Lake Stymphalia (NE-Peloponnese, Greece) and its linkage to the local and regional cultural development

Christian Heymann1, Oliver Nelle1, Walter Dörfler2, Helen Zagana3, Norbert Nowaczyk4, Lutz Käppel5, Ingmar Unkel1
1 Graduate School „Human Development in Landscapes”, Institute for Ecosystem Research, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel
2 Institute for Pre- and Protohistory, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel
3 Department of Geology, University of Patras, Greece
4 Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
5 Department of Classics, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel

V 6.2 in Quartäre Landschaftsentwicklung - ein Schlüssel zum Verständnis aktueller Georisiken

19.09.2012, 14:30-14:50, H8



How climate affected the development of cultures has long been a subject of research, especially in the Eastern Mediterranean region with its rich (pre-)historical record. But for some archaeologically well investigated areas such as the Peleponnese, terrestrial environmental archives are still sparse. The sedimentary sequence of Lake Stymphalia for the first time sheds light on the palaeoclimate development of the Peloponnesian peninsula from at least Neolithic to modern times.

We present new geochemical data, together with a Bayesian AMS 14C age-depth model, based on high-resolution X-ray fluorescence scanning which provides in-situ, and continuous analysis of predefined element suites on split-core surfaces. Variations of elements over time were assessed constructing correlation matrices based on the calculation of Pearson correlation coefficients. The element suite includes Al, Si, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, Zn, Rb, Sr, and Zr. A major result includes that changes in element behaviour are related to hydrological changes in the catchment (precipitation), lake level status, and evaporation (insolation), and are ultimately driven by climate. Major trends/shifts in elemental ratios correspond to the climate development in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Based on our excellent correlation of Rb/Sr, reflecting cold/warm climates, with the stable oxygen-isotope record of Soreq Cave (Israel), periods of rapid climate change, e.g. the 8.2 ka BP cooling event, and the Little Ice Age were identified. A special focus lies on the period of rapid climate change between ca. 3500-2500 yrs BP which is coincident with the Late Bronze age collapse/demise of the Mycenaean culture around 1200 BC and the following dark ages, the transition from Bronze to Early Iron age, on mainland Greece.

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Letzte Änderung 25.07.2012