Loughborough University
299674.pdf (40.02 MB)

A geoarchaeological approach to late Quaternary environmental change in South Central Turkey

Download (40.02 MB)
posted on 2010-11-10, 14:23 authored by Peter Boyer
This thesis adopts a geoarchaeological approach to palaeoenvironmental research in the Konya basin of South-Central Turkey. It involves the analysis of sediment sequencesth rough cultural and alluvial depositsa crossa broad alluvial fan which has developed on the southern edge of the basin since the beginning of the Holocene. Sediments have been analysed by mineral magnetics, particle size, carbonate and organic matter content, and grouping into lithological units has been aided by statistical techniques including principal components analysis and discriminant analysis. Resultso f the analysis have shown a complex sequenceo f deposition across the alluvial fan throughout the Holocene, and within the sequences a number of archaeological sites ranging in date from the Early Neolithic to the Byzantine periods have been identified as being established on various land surfaces. During the early to mid Holocene, the predominant alluvial deposit across the fan was a fine-grained, heavy backswamp clay, deposition of which was time transgressive, i. e. area of deposition changed over this period as the course of the depositing river migrated laterally, and up/down fan. Evidence from the largest and earliest site studied, I; atalh6yiik, where archaeological excavation has recently recommenced, shows that the site was established during the Early Neolithic in an actively flooding alluvial environment. This has implications, not only for the populations inhabiting the site, but also for the wider reasoning behind the establishment of early agricultural settlements in the Near East. Other sites in the area up to the Early Bronze Age have also been seen to have been established in actively depositing alluvial settings. Shortly before c. 4000 BP there was a permanent change in the nature of alluvial deposition, with the heavy backswamp clay being replaced by a less fine-grained deposit of different origin. This initial change was concurrent with an apparent depopulation of the alluvial fan and a relationship between the two phenomena is possible. More importantly, there appear to have been major population changes and increased human influence on the environment of both the fan catchment and the wider region subsequent to these phenomena. Such changes appear to have had a long-term effect on the fan environment as the nature of the alluvial deposition remained relatively unaltered between these events and intensive irrigation schemes which restricted alluvial deposition in the early twentieth century.



  • Social Sciences


  • Geography and Environment


© Peter Boyer

Publication date



A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

EThOS Persistent ID



  • en

Usage metrics

    Geography and Environment Theses


    Ref. manager