Response of the Akrotiri Marsh, island of Cyprus, to Bronze Age climate change

Calian Hazell*, Matthew Pound, Emma Hocking

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Here we present two multiproxy records covering the last 5000 years from the Akrotiri Marsh in southern Cyprus. Pollen and diatom analysis of radiocarbon dated marsh sediments with an average chronological resolution of one date every thousand years, reveal expansion and contraction of the marsh in response to mid-late Holocene climate events, with peak aridity reconstructed in the early Bronze Age, inferred between 4.3 and 4.1 cal ka BP, and repeated dry intervals in the Late Bronze Age, inferred between 3.4 and 3.1 cal ka BP. The record provides important contextual climate data to the debate surrounding reported Early and Late Bronze Age societal collapse events present in numerous archaeological archives throughout the Mediterranean and Near Eastern region. This is the first multiproxy record from the island of Cyprus potentially displaying the 4.2 ka BP event. The characteristics of the inferred 3.2 ka BP event are very similar to the manifestation of the event in the east of Cyprus and on the southern Levantine mainland. These results contribute to the regional understanding of Bronze Age climates on Cyprus, give insight into the expression of global climate forcing mechanisms such as the North Atlantic Oscillation and the Siberian High, and provide potential evidence for reduced anthropogenic land-use during the 4.2 ka BP and 3.2 ka BP Events supporting what is documented in archaeological archives.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110788
Number of pages14
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Volume587
Early online date9 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Dec 2021

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