The paleoclimate of the Gediz Graben (Western Türkiye) and archaeological settlement patterns during the Holocene

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Kolbüken M., Arıkan B.

JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE: REPORTS, vol.53, no.104414, pp.1-13, 2024 (AHCI)


The Gediz Graben is one of the highly sensitive areas in the Anatolian Peninsula to climatic changes as the climatic patterns in the region have been controlled by both polar and tropical circulation systems. We used readily available results from the CHELSA paleoclimate model and ran the MCM to obtain the paleo-precipitation and paleo-temperature patterns for the research area. This research aims to reconstruct the past climatic con- ditions of the Gediz Graben during the last 12 ka years through the paleoclimate model results and existing multiple proxy records in the eastern Mediterranean, to contextualize the long-term changes in archaeological settlement patterns in the region. Although we compare the model results here, we base our interpretations of paleoclimate reconstructions on the results of the MCM and the proxy records. The paleoclimatic conditions of the Graben were wetter and colder during the Early Holocene. The Middle and Late Holocene climate was generally stable and near-modern patterns prevailed around 7 ka in the Graben. However, the climatic shifts occurred at smaller amplitudes for shorter periods in comparison to the Early Holocene. These patterns are supported by local and regional proxy records in the eastern Mediterranean. The archaeological settlements in the Plain increased from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age; gathered around large bodies of water. The results suggest that the paleoenvironmental processes (the paleo-lakes, paleoclimatic conditions) contributed to de- cisions concerning the locales of archaeological settlements on the Gediz Plain.