Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


1 October 2018

New geoarchaeological and palaeoenvironmental studies in Mani Peninsula (S. Peloponnesus) by employing luminescence dating techniques

I. Christodoulakis, C. Athanassas, Y. Bassiakos & C. Varotsos In E. Photos-Jones, Y. Bassiakos, E. Filippaki, A. Hein, I. Karatasios, V. Kilikoglou & E. Kouloumpi (eds), 2016. Proceedings of the 6th Symposium of the Hellenic Society for Archaeometry (Bar International Series 2780), Oxford: 175-178.

It is well established in the literature that the peninsula of Mani, Southern Peloponnesus, Southwestern Greece, is an area with great palaeoenvironmental and palaeoanthropological interest. Numerous sea-level oscillations and palaeoclimatic successions have been verified in the area by former investigations. Environmental changes have been recorded in the terrestrial and marine sedimentary record over at least since 400 ka. They comprise a unique natural ‘archive’ that offers the challenging opportunity for detailed investigations on regional palaeoenvironmental changes during the Upper Quaternary. We have focused our study on Diros area, which comprises part of the whole Mani peninsula, a tectonically active segment of land, lying near the convergent boundary of the Eurasian and African plates. To date, the chronological framework of the above processes is only loosely constrained. This project aims to engage luminescence dating techniques and specifically Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL), in order to deduce a chronological framework of paleoenvironmental changes. Former geochronological investigations in the area had employed the electron spin resonance technique (ESR). Here, we attempt a comparison of the results achieved by both methods. The new luminescence ages estimated for littoral sediments allowed us to re-assess the eustatic, isostatic and tectonic changes during the aforementioned period of geological time. In addition, for the first time, we consider the contribution of airborne dust transferred from distant areas to the local sedimentary record with the intention of reconstructing patterns of atmospheric circulation over the Late Quaternary. Our preliminary results are hereby presented and discussed.


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