A well-dated pollen diagram from Gravgaz marsh, near the archaeological site of Sagalassos (western Taurus Mountains, Turkey), provides the first detailed record of vegetation change in southwest Turkey during the last two millennia. A newly developed numerical analysis disentangles the climatic and anthropogenic influences on vegetation and reveals for the first time for southwest Turkey the timing and influence of late-Holocene climate change. Results show that sudden vegetation changes, driven by changes in moisture availability, co-occurred with well-defined European climate shifts. A trend towards dry conditions, from c. AD 640 to 940, coincides with the cold early Middle Ages in Europe. During this period, human presence in the region diminished and agricultural activity switched focus from crop cultivation to pastoralism while signs of cereal cultivation temporarily ceased. This period was followed by a return to moister conditions from AD 940 to 1280, coinciding with the 'Medieval Climate Anomaly'. During this period there was a resurgence of human activity in the basin. Another trend towards dry conditions occurred at c. AD 1280, corresponding with the start of the 'Little Ice Age' in Europe and another disappearance of cereal pollen until the present day. The numerical analyses suggest that human impact around Gravgaz during the last two millennia is primarily driven by climatic changes.
- RADIOCARBON AGE CALIBRATION
- NORTHEASTERN ARABIAN SEA
- MEDIEVAL WARM PERIOD
- SW TURKEY
- LAMINATED SEDIMENTS
- OLIVE OIL
[Bakker, J.] Katholieke Univ Leuven, Dept Earth & Environm Sci, B-3001 Heverlee, Belgium; [Kaniewski, D.] Univ Toulouse, Toulouse, France
Bakker, J (reprint author), Katholieke Univ Leuven, Dept Earth & Environm Sci, Celestijnenlaan 200E, B-3001 Heverlee, Belgium.