Mid- to Late Holocene shoreline reconstruction and human occupation in Ancient Eretria (South Central Euboea, Greece)
Few studies have aimed to reconstruct landscape change in the area of Eretria (South Central Euboea, Greece) during the last 6000years. The aim of this paper is to partially fill in this gap by examining the interaction between Mid- to Late Holocene shoreline evolution and human occupation, which is documented in the area from the Late Neolithic to the Late Roman period (with discontinuities). Evidence of shoreline displacements is derived from the study of five boreholes (maximum depth of 5.25m below the surface) drilled in the lowlands of Eretria. Based on sedimentological analyses and micro/macrofaunal identifications, different facies have been identified in the cores and which reveal typical features of deltaic progradation with marine, lagoonal, fluvio-deltaic and fluvial environments. In addition, a chronostratigraphy has been obtained based on 20 AMS 14C radiocarbon dates performed on samples of plant remains and marine/lagoonal shells found in situ. The main sequences of landscape reconstruction in the plain of Eretria can be summarized as follows: a marine environment predominated from ca. 4000 to 3200cal.BC and a gradual transition to shallow marine conditions is observed ca. 3200-3000cal.BC due to the general context of deltaic progradation west of the ancient city. Subsequently, from ca. 3000 to 2000cal.BC, a lagoon occupied the area in the vicinity of the Temple of Apollo and the settlement's development was restricted to several fluvio-deltaic levees, thus severely limiting human activities in the plain. From ca. 2000 to 800cal.BC, a phase of shallow marine presence prevailed and constrained settlement on higher ground, forcing abandonment of the major part of the plain. Finally, since the eighth century BC, the sea has regressed southward and created the modern landscape. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.