Outlines of the Holocene Geomorphology of Anatolia

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Mater B., TUROĞLU H.

in: Prehistoric Economies of Anatolia: Subsistence Strategies and Exchange, Wawruschka C., Editor, The Austrian Academy Of Sciences, Vienna, pp.1-15, 2009

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Publisher: The Austrian Academy Of Sciences
  • City: Vienna
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-15
  • Editors: Wawruschka C., Editor
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


During the Holocene (10,000 yr BC to present), which corresponds also with the prehistoric periods, rapid geomorphological changes occured in Anatolia. Despite representing an interglacial period, climate changes or changes caused by oscillations in lakes, rivers and in seas led to significant changes in the environment and thus societies.

Spatial changes are documented for several lakes in Anatolia such as the Salt Lake (Tuz Gölü), the former Konya Lake, the Akşehir Eber Lakes and others. The large Anatolian streams (Tigris, Euphrates, Kizilirmak, Yesilirmak) have attracted settlers and agriculture, though occasional floodings and have caused disasters. The deposits of the Kizilirmak, the Yesilirmak, the Göksu, the Seyhan and the Ceyhan rivers formed large deltas along the Anatolian coast. The Gediz, the Kücük and the Büyük Menderes rivers saw rapid aluvial changes on the coasts and the plains in their hinterlands. Climate changes during the Holocene have led to sea level changes. Thus, the Anatolian coastal marine terrace formed, and provided together with a number of terraced fields, new space for settling. Tectonic movements have played a crucial role in shaping the rich Anatolian landscape until recently.

The geomorphological features and changes were fundamental in determining the living conditions, subsistence strategies and welfare levels of the inhabitants of the Anatolian peninsula.