Establishing a high-resolution stratigraphy in the Holocene marine sequence of the ancient Theodosian harbor of Istanbul with the help of dendrochronology

Yalcin M. N. , Sezerer-Bulut M., Pearson C., Kuniholm P., Algan O., Wazny T.

GEOARCHAEOLOGY-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL, vol.34, no.3, pp.360-374, 2019 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/gea.21729
  • Page Numbers: pp.360-374


Salvage excavations in the Theodosian harbor (Yenikapi-Istanbul) have uncovered diverse archaeological objects including 36 shipwrecks and various Byzantine period wooden docks. The sequence of these docks provided a unique opportunity to obtain a high-resolution stratigraphy. The new approach is based on stratigraphic interpretation of deformation patterns created by the posts in soft sediments, combined with dendrochronological dating of the posts. Dendrochronology offers the potential to date the posts to within one calendar year of felling, a level of precision and accuracy rare in sedimentological analysis. The posts, most of them Quercus, were rammed during six different time periods. The first period is associated with posts cut in 528 AD. The second and third periods are dated by posts cut in 583 and 594 AD, respectively. The fourth-period dates within 8-10 years of 639 AD. The fifth period could be dated only roughly to between 690 and 770 AD. The last period produced a possible placement of after 778 AD. This new approach helps to establish a high-resolution stratigraphy. Furthermore, it provides information about sedimentation history and specific anthropogenic events.