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Géoarchéologie des îles

de Méditerranée
Géoarchéologie des îles
de Méditerranée
Geoarchaeology of the Mediterranean Islands

sous la direction de
Matthieu Ghilardi

Avec la collaboration de
Franck Leandri, Jan Bloemendal, Laurent Lespez et Sylvian Fachard

CNRS ÉDITIONS
© CNRS éDITIONS, PARIS, 2016
ISBN : 978-2-271-08915-1
Sommaire
ntroduction générale
Géoarchéologie des îles de Méditerranée 9
Ghilardi Matthieu, Leandri Franck, Bloemendal Jan, Lespez Laurent, Fachard Sylvian

partie 1 / Part 1 21
Anthropisation et mutations paysagères à la transition Paléolithique/Néolithique
Anthropization and landscape changes during the Late Paleolithic/Neolithic transition
La diffusion du Néolithique en Méditerranée 23
GUILAINE Jean
Late Pleistocene to Early Holocene Sea-Crossings in the Aegean:
Direct, Indirect and Controversial Evidence 33
Papoulia Christina
The insular ecology and palaeoenvironmental impacts of the domestic goat
(Capra hircus) in Mediterranean Neolithization 47
LEPPARD Thomas P., PILAAR BIRCH Suzanne E.
Site Formation Processes at Akrotiri Aetokremnos, Cyprus:
Why is the site so controversial? 57
SIMMONS Alan, MANDEL Rolfe D.
La néolithisation de la haute montagne corse :
l’Abri des Castelli, 2 140 m d’altitude (commune de Corte, centre-Corse) 73
MAZET Sylvain, MARINI Nathalie-Anne, BONTEMPI Jean-Michel, BOSCHIAN Giovanni
The Neolithic landscape and settlement of the Island of Gökçeada
(Imbros, Turkey) 89
ERDOĞU Burçin

partie 2 / Part 2 95
Mobilité et reconstitution des anciens niveaux marins depuis la fin
de la dernière grande glaciation quaternaire
Shoreline displacements and sea level changes since the Last Glacial Maximum
Variations relatives du niveau moyen de la mer en Corse
au cours des 6 000 dernières années 97
VACCHI Matteo, GHILARDI Matthieu, CURRÁS Andrés
Reconstructing the coastal configuration of Lemnos Island
(Northeast Aegean Sea, Greece) since the Last Glacial Maximum  109
CHALKIOTI Areti
Holocene sea level changes and palaeogeographic reconstruction of the Ayia Irini
prehistoric settlement (Keos Island, Cyclades archipelago, Greece) 119
MOURTZAS Nikos, KOLAITI Eleni
Géoarchéologie des îles de Méditerranée

partie 3 / Part 3 137


Adaptation aux mutations paysagères à l’échelle intra-site :
la nécessaire prise en compte des paramètres environnementaux
Human adaptation to site-scale landscape changes:
the importance of environmental parameters
étude géophysique et paléogéographique de l’Agora de Thasos (Grèce) :
implications pour l’occupation humaine durant l’Antiquité 139
QUESNEL Y., GHILARDI M., MALAMIDOU D., TRIPPÉ N., LESPEZ L., COLLEU M., VACCHI M.
évolution des paysages et histoire de l’occupation d’Érétrie (Eubée, Grèce) 
du Bronze ancien à l’époque romaine 149
Ghilardi Matthieu, Müller Celka Sylvie, Theurillat Thierry, Fachard Sylvian,
Vacchi Matteo
Les ports antiques des petites îles de Méditerranée.
Proposition d’une typologie géoarchéologique 165
GIAIME Matthieu, MORHANGE Christophe, CARAYON Nicolas, FLAUX Clément, MARRINER Nick
Reconstructing the coastal landscape of Selinus (Sicily, Italy)
and Lipari Sotto Monastero (Lipari, Italy) 177
MAZZA Alba
On the historical role of earthquakes in Antiquity 191
STIROS Stathis

partie 4 / Part 4 199


Deltas, lagunes et marais : des interfaces propices à l’implantation
des sociétés humaines
Deltas, lagoons, and marshes as suitable environments for human habitation
Holocene Fluvial Dynamics and Geoarchaeology on Mediterranean Islands 201
BROWN Tony, WALSH Kevin
Occupation humaine et mobilité des paysages dans la basse vallée du Sagone
(Corse, France) entre l’âge du Bronze et l’époque romaine 215
GHILARDI Matthieu, ISTRIA Daniel, CURRAS Andrés, DUSSOUILLEZ Philippe,
VELLA Claude, CREST Yannick, COLLEU Maxime, Vacchi Matteo
évolution du fleuve Golo autour du site antique et médiéval de Mariana
(Corse, France) 229
VELLA Claude, COSTA Kévin, ISTRIA Daniel, DUSSOUILLEZ Philippe, GHILARDI Matthieu,
FLEURY T. Jules, DELANGHE Doriane, DEMORY François, CIBECCHINI Franca,
MOREAU Julien, JOUET Gwenaël
Changements environnementaux et impact des sociétés humaines autour
du site minoen de Malia (Crète, Grèce). Bilan des acquis et nouvelles recherches 245
Lespez Laurent, Müller Celka Sylvie, Pomadère Maia
Changements environnementaux et histoire de la colonisation humaine
des Îles Baléares (Méditerranée occidentale) : conséquences sur l’évolution
de la végétation 259
Burjachs Francesc, PÉrez-Obiol Ramon, Picornell-Gelabert Llorenç, Revelles Jordi,
Servera-Vives Gabriel, ExpÓsito Isabel, Yll Errikarta-Imanol

6
Sommaire

partie 5 / Part 5 273


Matières premières : exploitation et interactions
Exploitation and exchange of raw materials
Early Holocene Interaction in the Aegean Islands:
Mesolithic Chert Exploitation at Stélida (Naxos, Greece) in Context 275
CARTER Tristan, CONTRERAS Daniel A., DOYLE Sean, MIHAILOVIC Danica D.,
SKARPELIS Nikolaos
Dietary preferences of the inhabitants of ancient Akrai/Acrae
(south-eastern Sicily) during Roman times and the Byzantine period 287
CHOWANIEC Roksana, GRĘZAK Anna
Looking for the invisible: landscape change and ceramic manufacture
during the Final Neolithic-Early Bronze Age at Phaistos (Crete, Greece) 299
MENTESANA Roberta, AMATO Vincenzo, DAY Peter M., GHILARDI Matthieu,
KILIKOGLOU Vassilis, LONGO Fausto, TODARO Simona
Reconstitution des paléoenvironnements et des activités humaines
à partir de l’étude de sédiments prélevés dans le Cap Corse (Corse, France) 311
FAGEL Nathalie, FONTAINE François, PLEUGER élisa, LECHENAULT Marine,
LEPOINT Gilles, GOIRAN Jean-Philippe
Kouphonisi (Greece): a briefly vibrant Roman harbourage
between Crete and Africa 333
COUTSINAS Nadia, GUY Max, KELLY Amanda

7
The Neolithic landscape and settlement
of the Island of Gökçeada (Imbros, Turkey)
ERDOĞU Burçin1

Abstract
The recent archaeological discoveries on the island of Gökçeada (Imbros) shed new light on the early Prehistory
of the North Aegean Islands. The earliest finds date from the Middle Palaeolithic period, and possible Mesolithic/
Epi-palaeolithic chipped stone tools were discovered in the eastern part of the island. Stratigraphic excavations at
the site of Uğurlu have clarified the spatial extent of the settlement from Preceramic or Initial Neolithic occupation
onwards. Uğurlu Phase VI is dated to 6700-6500 cal. BC. A site near the Salt Lake is probably contemporary with
Uğurlu Phase VI. The Neolithic Phase V (6500-6000 cal. BC) at Uğurlu has signs of continuity, and the perma-
nent settlers were agriculturalists who introduced domestic sheep, goats, cattle and pigs to the island. The distribu-
tion of Melian and Central Anatolian obsidian suggests long-distance exchange mechanisms during the Neolithic.
The sea level and shoreline in the Aegean were different during prehistoric times compared to the present
day. During the low sea level of the Last Glacial Maximum the island of Gökçeada, together with all of the
North Aegean Islands, was connected to the mainland. Gökçeada, together with Lemnos, became an island
probably just after the Younger Dryas, and they were connected by an isthmus. Around 7000-6500 cal. BC,
sea level was 20 m lower than today and the separate island of Gökçeada lay close to the Gelibolu Peninsula.

Introduction The earliest finds on the island date from the


Middle Palaeolithic period. Middle Palaeolithic
The field of island archaeology provides an oppor- activity is documented around the chert outcrops in
tunity to address the following questions. Why the eastern part of the island (Özbek and Erdoğu,
did people settle islands? How did they manage in 2014; Erdoğu, in press). Levallois flakes and points
an insular setting? What type of relations existed are dominant (Figure  3 B). Possible Mesolithic/
between island societies or between islanders and Epi-palaeolithic finds, consisting mainly of micro
mainlanders (Broodbank 2000; Knapp, 2008; flake tools, were also found in the eastern part of
Dawson, 2014)? These key research themes were also the island, around the Eksino Stream. Uğurlu is the
central to our research on Neolithic societies at the only early Neolithic settlement on the western part
island of Gökçeada. The island of Gökçeada (Imbros) of the island (Figure 2). It is a low mound covering
is about 17  km from the Gallipoli Peninsula and an area of approximately 250 × 200 m on a gentle
covers an area of 289.5 km² (Figure 1). The Uğurlu slope at the eastern foot of Mount Isa (Doğanlı). The
Archaeological Project was initiated in 2009 with main Uğurlu-Dereköy road cuts through the site. The
the aim of exploring the role of the Northern Aegean Pilon stream lies at the eastern part of the site, and
Islands in the Neolithization of South East Europe. there is also a nearby spring. During the six years of
The project was also focused on understanding the excavation six main cultural phases, designated I-VI
Neolithic environment and with stratigraphical anal- (counting from top to bottom), and at least 12 layers
ysis of Prehistoric sites on the island. of occupation, have been revealed so far. The earliest

Department of Archaeology, Trakya University, 22030 EDİRNE, Turkey (berdogu@gmail.com)


1

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Géoarchéologie des îles de Méditerranée Erdogu

Figure 1: Location of Uğurlu in the Northeastern Aegean.

Figure 2: The Neolithic site of Uğurlu and its environment.

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The Neolithic landscape and settlement of the Island of Gökçeada (Imbros, Turkey)

Table 1: Radiocarbon dates for Uğurlu.

Phase VI is dated to 6700-6500 cal. BC and Phase How far was it across the sea to the mainland in the
V is dated to 6500-6000 cal. BC (Table 1). Another Early Neolithic?
Early Neolithic site was discovered near the Salt Lake Starting at the time of the Last Glacial Maximum
in the southeastern part of the island. (around 21 000 years ago), sea level was about 120 m
lower than today (Lamback and Purcell, 2005).
The island of Gökçeada, along with all the North
Geological background Aegean Islands, was connected to the mainland.
and sea level change Sea level was 55-60  m lower during the Younger
Dryas between 10800 and 9600 cal. BC. Gökçeada,
Gökçeada is a mountainous island and Mount together with Lemnos, became an island probably
Doruk (Elias), with an altitude of 673 m, is the highest just after the Younger Dryas, and they were connected
point. Narrow valleys, such as Büyükdere in the north by an isthmus (Perissoratis and Conispoliatis, 2003;
and Ballidere in the west, and the northern part of Efstratiou, 2014). Subsequently the rise in the level of
the Salt Lake, provide the only agricultural land. The the Aegean Sea continued at a slower pace, reaching
solid geology is composed mainly of volcanic rocks. a height approximately 20 m lower than today during
Volcanic rocks on the island occur as vents, intrusion the Neolithic period, around 7000-6500 cal. BC
centres or as volcanoclastics interlayered with the sedi- (for discussion see Özbek and Erdoğu, 2014), and
the island of Gökçeada lay close to the Gelibolu
mentary strata. They usually constitute topographic
Peninsula, ca. 10 km. In addition, geomorphological
highs and have an andesitic composition (Kurtulus
investigations indicate that deep bays were formed at
et  al., 2010). The commonest minerals present in
the river estuaries in the island (Öner, 2000). Today,
andesitic rocks are: plagioclase feldspar, more specif- the seashore is about 2 km from the site of Uğurlu, but
ically andesines; amphiboles, usually hornblende; the site was located far from the shoreline during the
pyroxenes, usually augite; spinel, such as titanomag- Neolithic period. Archaeobotanical research demon-
netite, ilmenite and magnetite; quartz; apatite; and strates that the first settlement was located in an
biotite. At least 5 chert outcrops in the eastern part area where small lakes and swamps occur, and the
of the island were discovered. Black-coloured fine- Neolithic inhabitants of Uğurlu lived near a spring in
grained chert of Kuzu Limanı was mainly used in the this well-watered fertile area.
Neolithic. The Uğurlu project was also intended to improve
The sea level and the shoreline of the Aegean our knowledge of the palaeoenvironment. A coring
were different during prehistoric times compared to programme was conducted to reconstruct the
the present day and our project was focused on the Neolithic environment. A single core, to a depth of ca.
following questions: When did Gökçeada begin to 3.24 m, was taken from the marsh some 2 km south of
separate from the mainland and become an island? Uğurlu, but no Early Neolithic levels were detected.

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Géoarchéologie des îles de Méditerranée Erdogu

The Early Neolithic Occupation So far two possible occupational layers of Phase
V have been recorded. The early layer of Phase V is
The earliest occupation at Uğurlu is located in represented in sounding trenches and consists of
the eastern part of the settlement, close to the Pilon earthen floors with an extremely dense concen-
stream. Phase VI is represented in sounding trenches tration of animal bones, flint and obsidian tools
only. No architectural structures, with the exception and bone spatulas, and a fish hook was also found
of scattered stones in clusters, and a hearth, were (Figure 4A). A single-room, earthen-floored building
found in this Phase. Three AMS radiocarbon dates about 5 × 4 m, has been excavated in the late layer of
range from ca. 6682-6570 cal. BC (1 α). No ceramics Phase V (Figure 4). It is characterized by small room
or any other clay objects were recorded. Several disc- size (9.2 m²), thick walls (1.00 m) and massive exte-
shaped shell or stone beads and bone awls were found. rior buttresses. The northern wall stands to a height
The chipped stones of Phase VI are characterised by of about 1 m, and a fireplace is set inside the wall.
thin blades made using the pressure technique. Only
Following its abandonment the fireplace seems to have
8 obsidians (6 blades) were found in this phase, and
been filled with earth and stones, and a stone axe was
local flint/chert was used much more frequently.
deliberately left within it. The northern wall stretches
A flotation sample of 100 litres was taken from Phase
about 3-5 m to the east with a parallel wall ca. 1 m
VI and only one possible cereal grain was identified.
wide, creating a courtyard. A sherd with a human
The site near the Salt Lake (Figure 1) is probably
contemporary with Uğurlu Phase VI. The site lies motif in relief and a head from animal bone from an
on the eastern bank of the Salt Lake and most of its Acrolithic figurine were found in the courtyard. The
surface is flooded by saltwater all year round, except in nose of the figurine head was shown in relief while
summer (Figure 3). However, it is unclear whether or the eyes were highlighted with red paint (Figure 4 B).
not the Salt Lake existed during the Neolithic period. Several broken bone tools, a small stone axe made of
Only chipped stone implements were found at this serpentine, and a small broken malachite bead, were
site, and no pottery or ground stones were discov- found in situ in the building. The malachite bead
ered. Raw materials are similar to the raw materials is one of the earliest malachite finds in Southeast
used at Uğurlu. Only two pieces of obsidian were Europe. There are two malachite veins running
found on the surface (Figure 3A). Flakes are domi- between the villages of Dereköy and Tepeköy, close
nant and there are also flake cores. Blades are quite to the site. A single AMS radiocarbon date from the
rare and most of them were made using the pressure early layer of Phase V yielded an age of 6478-6436 cal.
technique. Some of the blades may have been used BC (1α), and an additional AMS radiocarbon date
as sickle inserts and tools are relatively abundant. from the late layer of Phase V yielded an age of 6085-
A foliate point is noteworthy. 6010 cal. BC (1 α).

Figure 3: The Salt Lake. Figure 3A: An obsidian blade from the Salt Lake site; Figure 3B: Middle Palaeolithic finds.

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The Neolithic landscape and settlement of the Island of Gökçeada (Imbros, Turkey)

A large number of soil samples in Phase V were shapes. Bases are either flat or have a low pedestal.
processed by flotation. Domestic cereals, including Vertically-placed tube-like and knob-like perforated
einkorn wheat (Triticum monococcum), six-rowed tubular lugs, as well as small crescent shaped lugs, are
barley (Hordeum vulgare) and pea (Pisum sativum characteristic. A human-faced sherd and a sherd with a
L.), were present throughout the sampled deposits. human motif in relief are unique. A comparison of the
Einkorn wheat was the most abundant of the culti- results of the thin section analysis and the chemical
vated species. The faunal data show that domestic composition of the sherds and clay samples indicates
sheep and goat are dominant in a very early phase V. that the Neolithic pottery of Uğurlu is composed of
Domestic pig, cattle and dog also occur. The presence local clays (Erdoğu, 2014). Only one type of clay could
of wild boar, red deer, hare and fox indicate hunting. be distinguished and it is non-calcareous of andesitic/
Most of the chipped stone production made use of dacitic composition. The minerals consist of quartz,
raw materials found in the island: different coloured alkali and plagioclase feldspars, amphiboles and titan-
flint/cherts, jasper and quartz. Obsidian was also used iferous minerals, especially magnetite and titaniferous
as a raw material. Melian obsidian was widely used, magnetite. Organic temper is almost absent. Only a
but Central Anatolian East Göllü Dağ obsidian was very small number of organic inclusions were identi-
also available (Miliç, 2014). Flakes are more common fied and they were probably not deliberate additions.
than blades. Tools are very rare and scrapers are the A very small number of bone fragments were identi-
most common type. Polished stone axes and adzes fied in a few samples.
are abundant, especially in the late layer of Phase V.
The raw material used in their manufacture probably
comes from local sources. On the other hand, stone Conclusion
axes made from nephrite were imported to the island
from outcrops at the foot of Ganos Mountain in the 3 AMS radiocarbon dates confirm that phase
Gallipoli Peninsula (Özbek and Erol, 2001). VI at Uğurlu began rather early, at least as early as
Pottery is the most common artefact found in the Preceramic or Initial Neolithic layers of Ulucak
Phase V. The vast majority of the pottery is red slipped VI and Çukuriçi XIII in Western Anatolia (Horejs
and burnished. Black burnished sherds were found in et al., 2015; Çevik and Abay, in press). The radio-
small quantities. All pottery is handmade and thin carbon dates from Knossos X and Franchthi “Initial
walled. Deep bowls with an “S” profile, hole-mouth Neolithic” indicate the existence of the Preceramic
vessels and straight-sided shallow dishes are common phase in the Aegean between 7000 to 6600 cal.
BC. (Perlès et al., 2013; Reingruber, 2015). Possible
Mesolithic/Epi Palaeolithic finds indicate an indig-
enous population on the island. Future studies may
reveal whether the indigenous populations played a
role in the process of Neolithization. The Preceramic
site near the Salt Lake is also important. The absence
of pottery and the presence of obsidian and especially
pressure blades are noteworthy. Phase V at Uğurlu
demonstrates that permanent settlement on the island
was achieved by people with an agricultural economic
base, including cultivated plants and domesticated
animals. Settlers were agriculturalists and they intro-
duced domestic sheep, goats, cattle and pigs to the
island. Strong parallels to Uğurlu V pottery were
found in Western Anatolian Neolithic sites as well as
at the Marmara region sites and at Hoca Çeşme IV-III
in Turkish Thrace (Bertram et Karul, 2005; Figure 1
and 3). Neolithic Gökçeada (Imbros) is characterized
by the striking evidence of long-distance commu-
nications. The distribution of Melian and Central
Anatolian obsidian suggests long-distance exchange
Figure 4: Neolithic Building at Uğurlu Phase V; mechanisms, and travel must have involved seafaring
Figure 4A: Bone fish hook; Figure 4B: Bone figurine head. for at least part of the journeys.

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Géoarchéologie des îles de Méditerranée Erdogu

Acknowledgements Colonization », Journal of World Prehistory, 28, 2015,


p. 289-330.
The Uğurlu Archaeological project is supported by KNAPP B.A., Prehistoric and Protohistoric Cyprus. Identity,
the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Insularity, and Connectivity, Oxford, Oxford University
University of Trakya, Edirne (BAP 2014-25). I thank Press, 2008.
Levent Atıcı, Soultana Valamoti and Denis Guilbeau KURTULUS C., IRMAK T.S., SERTCELIK I., « Physical
for sharing their data. and mechanical properties of Gökçeada: Imbros (NE
Aegean Sea) island andesites », Bulletin of Engineering
Geology and the Environment, 69 (2), 2010, p. 321-324.
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