Landscape and wood-fuel in Akrotiri (Thera, Greece) during the Bronze Age
Antigoni Mavromati Quaternary International 458 (2017): 44-55
Wood charcoal macroremains originating from the archaeological site of Akrotiri, Thera (Greece) have been analyzed. The results obtained suggest the existence of thermophilous vegetation on the island from the Early Cycladic period right up to the catastrophic eruption of the volcano in the Late Cycladic I period. The comparative evaluation of the results gained from this study and the previous ones indicates that during the Early Cycladic period an open Pinus type brutia/halepensis (Cyprus/Aleppo pine) forest prevailed on the island, accompanied by maquis vegetation. From the Middle Cycladic period and onwards a shift towards open maquis vegetation is observed. At the same time, species which could suggest arboriculture predominated, such as Olea europaea (olive trees) followed by Punica granatum (pomegranates) and Prunus amygdalus (almond trees). Furthermore, the recovery of moisture demanding species, like Quercus type evergreen (evergreen oak), evidences wetter conditions on the island than previously thought. Finally, the finding of Pinus type nigra/sylvestris (Black/Scots pine) adds one more species to the list of non-endemic taxa found on the island and further affirms the import of wood to the site and its commercial connections with the Peloponnese and Euboea.