Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


1 November 2018

Reconstructing the coastal configuration of Lemnos Island (Northeast Aegean Sea, Greece) since the Last Glacial Maximum

Areti Chalkioti In M. Ghilardi, F. Leandri, J. Bloemendal, L. Lespez & S. Fachard (eds) 2016. Géoarchélogie des îles de Mediterranée, Paris: 109-118.

This contribution aims to reconstruct the past coastal landscapes of the island of Lemnos, Northeast Aegean Sea, Greece, for the last 20 000 years. It is based on recent publications which estimate the fluctuations in sea-level and ice volume through past glacial cycles, as well as sea-level reconstructions derived from borehole stratigraphies. Until recently, archaeological data showed that the earliest occupation of Lemnos dated from the 4th millennium BC (Chalcolithic) rewards. However, this situation changed after the discovery of an Epipalaeolithic site, dating to the middle of the 11th millennium BC, in the southeastern corner of the island. It is likely that sea-level changes since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) have greatly affected the identification of potential archaeological sites dating to before the 4th millennium BC on Lemnos Island and across the breadth of the Northeast (NE) Aegean Sea. These reconstructions can provide an improved perspective of the geographical locations of previously-identified archaeological sites in the area end their position in relation to the shoreline throughout the period of occupation, and in addition provide insights to potential areas for future underwater archaeological investigations. They also provide information about the time mat Lemnos was first isolated from the mainland (ca. 12800 BP) and its connection to neighboring islands, mainly to Imvros, during different time periods, as well as information regarding the early corridors by which the island was colonized by land, and changes in the maritime landscape between Lemnos, Imvros and the northwestern coast of Turkey.


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