The Paleoclimate of the Amuq Plain and the Archaeological Settlement Index: The Assessment of the Long-term Settlement Dynamics Throughout the Holocene

Creative Commons License

Arıkan B.

in: Landscape Archaeology in the Near East: Approaches, Methods and Case Studies, Bülent Arıkan,Linda olsvig Whittaker, Editor, Archaeopress Archaeology, Oxford, pp.114-154, 2023

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Publisher: Archaeopress Archaeology
  • City: Oxford
  • Page Numbers: pp.114-154
  • Editors: Bülent Arıkan,Linda olsvig Whittaker, Editor
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Amuq Plain constitutes the southernmost tip of Turkey, where the modern city of Hatay is at its center. The Plain, a piece of land that is irrigated by Karasu, Afrin, and Asi rivers, where once the Amuq Lake covered the central portion of this Basin, extends east and south into Syria. Amuq Plain has been witnessing major geological and social transformations for millions of years. Geologically, Amuq Plain represents the northern extremity of the Jordan Rift Valley, which has been formed by tectonic activities among the African, Arabian, and Eurasian plates. Ecologically, Amuq Plain is an ecotone where floral and faunal variety is high. Amuq Plain is one of the most biologically diverse regions in Turkey, along with Ayder Plateau in northeast Anatolia. This tectonically active and biologically diverse region has also been a hot spot for the social and cultural evolution of human societies. These changes lead to the emergence of entirely sedentary groups that practice agropastoralism during the Neolithic Period (ca. 9000 BC), and the establishment of local kingdoms and imperial systems in the Middle and Late Bronze ages (ca. 2000–1200 BC) as the geopolitical significance of Amuq Plain has increased since it connects the northern Levant with Anatolia via the Cilician Plain.