Human-climate interactions since the neolithic period in Central Anatolia: Novel multi-proxy data from the Kureyşler area, Kütahya, Turkey
Potoğlu Erkara, İsmühan
Akkiraz, Mehmet Serkan
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CitationOcakoğlu, F., Çilingiroğlu, Ç., Erkara, İ. P., Ünan, S., Dinçer, B., & Akkiraz, M. S. (2019). Human-climate interactions since the neolithic period in Central Anatolia: Novel multi-proxy data from the Kureyşler area, Kütahya, Turkey. Quaternary Science Reviews, 213, 1-17.
Sedimentological and paleoclimatological data from a fluvial infill retrieved from a series of cores taken across Kureys¸ ler Valley, Kütahya, western Turkey, are compared alongside evidence for an almost unbroken record of human occupation in the area since Neolithic times. Recent salvage excavations in the valley exposed settlement remains from the Early Bronze Age and Late Byzantine periods with interfingering of archaeological and geological materials in the valley-fill, adding a wealth of information to the archaeological record in this region. Our geological data, constrained by seven radiocarbon dates from the sediment infill demonstrate that the earliest sediments were deposited during the Late Glacial (~13.8 ka) under a cold and relatively dry climatic conditions with evidence of amelioration and increase in arboreal taxa from the Neolithic onwards. The occurrence of Cerealia-T and Apiaceae pollen is significant as an important indicator for anthropisation already present during the Epipaleolithic period (before 9 ka cal. BP). Also, the effects of 8.2 ka climatic event are clearly visible in our multi-proxy results. The onset of the Early Bronze Age settlements in the vicinity ~ ca. 5.2 ka BP occurred alongside a climatic switch to warmer conditions recorded by a lithological change and a positive shift in isotopic data. The 4.2 ka event, present in records related to several Early Bronze Age (EBA) sites of Anatolia is also recorded in the Kureys¸ ler Valley both in the pollen and d18O records. In general, these results show that climate shifts occurred at the beginning and end of the EBA, as well as during the Neolithic and Chalcolithic and are to be compared with new archaeological data.