Palynological evidence for human occupation in western Rough Cilicia (southwest Turkey)


Karlioglu N., Caner H., RAUH N. K., Akkemik U., Kose N., CONNOR E. M.

QUATERNARY INTERNATIONAL, vol.401, pp.109-122, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 401
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.quaint.2015.06.036
  • Journal Name: QUATERNARY INTERNATIONAL
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.109-122
  • Keywords: Rough Cilicia, Human occupancy, Palynology, Archaeology, Landscape ecology, Forest history, MEDITERRANEAN VEGETATION, ENVIRONMENTAL-CHANGE, TAURUS MOUNTAINS, HUMAN IMPACT, SW TURKEY, HOLOCENE, CLIMATE, POLLEN, ARCHAEOLOGY, TRANSITION
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

Paleo-environmental investigation of landscape transformation has enabled the Rough Cilicia Survey Project (south coastal Turkey) to supplement its archaeological analysis of the process of Romanization. During Antiquity, Rough Cilicia was celebrated for its cedar wood, the rot-resistant properties of which made it excellent ship-building material. Today, all trace of ancient cedar forests of the Rough Cilician highland has vanished, raising important questions about the sustainability of ancient forestry practices. Remote sensing analysis indicates that approximately 3.5% of the region's current forest cover is represented by a mixed forest of cedar and fir trees; whereas, 8.5% is represented by black pine. Palynological analysis of pollen samples obtained from four geomorphologic trenches indicate a common pattern of Cedrus dominance followed by Abies, Pinus, Juniperus, Quercus ilex type and Juglans. An inverse relationship appears to exist between Cedrus, Abies, and Pinus. The intermittent presence of additional invasive species such as Quercus and Juniperus raises the likelihood of periods of more arid (colder) climate (scenario 1) or secondary growth following forest clearance (scenario 2). The emergence of Juglans in the upper zone of the pollen diagrams confirms the existence of anthropogenic activity. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. All rights reserved.