Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


28 March 2012

Geology, stratigraphy, and site formation processes of the Upper Palaeolithic and later sequence in Klissoura Cave 1

Panagiotis Karkanas Eurasian Prehistory 7:2 (2010): 15-36.


Klissoura Cave 1 is located in the northeastern edge of the Argive Plain, Peloponnese, at the entrance of the Berbadiotis river gorge. The cave comprises a collapsed cave chamber and a rockshelter area. The stratigraphic analysis and micromorphological study of the sediments elucidated the main processes involved in the formation of the site and its depositional history. The beginning of the Upper Palaeolithic sequence is characterized by the appearance of minor and major hiatuses. The Middle Palaeolithic layer VII is erosionally truncated by the Aurignacian layer IV, at the back of the rockshelter. In the middle area, layer V, characterized by an Early Upper Palaeolithic technology is also truncated by the Aurignacian layers. The sedimentary content of layer V is more similar to the overlying Aurignacian sequence and, in this respect the truncation can be considered as a minor hiatus. The underlying layer VI is the result of post-depositional mixture at the contact of the Upper and Middle Palaeolithic sequence. The deposits of the Aurignacian layers are mainly the result of anthropogenic processes including constructed clay hearths and dumped, raked-out and trampled ash remains. Geogenic processes in the form of shallow rain sheet wash and wall breakdown were more important in the beginning of the Upper Palaeolithic. The sequence that overlies the Aurignacian has an overall discrete ashy appearance in the field, but the contacts between the different layers are rather diffuse. The uppermost layers of this sequence are affected by geogenic processes. The Epigravettian and Mesolithic layers are disturbed by modern activities and present frequent truncations and diffused interfaces.


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