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Mid- to Late Holocene shoreline reconstruction and human occupation in Ancient Eretria (South Central Euboea, Greece)
Few studies have aimed to reconstruct landscape change in the area of Eretria (South Central Euboea, Greece) during the last 6000 years. The aim of this paper is to partially ﬁll in this gap by examining the interaction be- tween Mid- to Late Holocene shoreline evolution and human occupation, which is documented in the area from the Late Neolithic to the Late Roman period (with discontinuities). Evidence of shoreline displacements is derived from the study of ﬁve boreholes (maximum depth of 5.25 m below the surface) drilled in the lowlands of Eretria. Based on sedimentological analyses and micro/macrofaunal identiﬁcations, different facies have been identiﬁed in the cores and which reveal typical features of deltaic progradation with marine, lagoonal, ﬂuvio- deltaic and ﬂuvial environments. In addition, a chronostratigraphy has been obtained based on 20 AMS 14C radio- carbon dates performed on samples of plant remains and marine/lagoonal shells found in situ. The main sequences of landscape reconstruction in the plain of Eretria can be summarized as follows: a marine environ- ment predominated from ca. 4000 to 3200 cal. BC and a gradual transition to shallow marine conditions is ob- served ca. 3200-3000 cal. BC due to the general context of deltaic progradation west of the ancient city. Subsequently, from ca. 3000 to 2000 cal. BC, a lagoon occupied the area in the vicinity of the Temple of Apollo and the settlement's development was restricted to several ﬂuvio-deltaic levees, thus severely limiting human activities in the plain. From ca. 2000 to 800 cal. BC, a phase of shallow marine presence prevailed and constrained settlement on higher ground, forcing abandonment of the major part of the plain. Finally, since the eighth century BC, the sea has regressed southward and created the modern landscape.
Greece, geology, landscape, human occupation
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