Peloponnese

Transformations in Early Greek Societies and Landscapes (SFB1266-TP-E1)

Project E1 aims to reconstruct environmental changes and their influence on cultural development in the region around the Gulf of Corinth during the Bronze Age/Iron Age transition (12th to 8th century BCE) based on a complementary study of sedimentary and archaeological archives, i.e. by applying geochemical, sedimentological and pedological proxies to sequences from selected valleys on the northern Peloponnese, Aetolia, and Boetia and by compiling and utilizing a survey of archaeological data from relevant regions around the Gulf of Corinth.

For further information

Publications:
Seguin, J., Unkel, I., Bauersachs, T., Bintliff, J.L., Dörfler, W., Grootes, P.M., Heymann, C., Manning, S.W., Müller, S., Nadeau, M.-J., Nelle, O., Steier, P., Weber, J., Wild, E.-M., Zagana, E., 2019. 2,500 years of anthropogenic and climatic landscape transformation in the Stymphalia polje, Greece. Quat. Sci. Rev. in press.

 

View of lower terrace at Aigeira and the Corinthian Gulf (Peloponnese, Greece)
View of lower terrace at Aigeira and the Corinthian Gulf (Peloponnese, Greece)photo: T. Keßler

 

PhD student Joana Seguin collects climate data from a data logger at Lake Stymphalia. (photo: Unkel)

PhD student Joana Seguin collects climate data from a data logger at Lake Stymphalia. (photo: Unkel)

 

Intensive discussion of the project members during the field campaign in the Stymphalia area (photo: Bork)

Intensive discussion of the project members during the field campaign in the Stymphalia area (photo: Bork)

 

Activities 2016-2018
The research activities in the study area around the Gulf of Corinth (see map) have produced a wealth of data which serve now as a foundation for the comparison and connection between archaeological data and palaeoclimate/palaeoenvironmental proxies. We have been working along a transect through the study area running between the western islands of Greece (e. g. Ithaca) and the plain of Argolis in the East. The Gulf of Corinth being the connecting element between the different regions.

Study area of the E1 project (map: Kessler)
Study area of the E1 project (map: Kessler)

 

The temporal focus of the project is the transition between the Bronze and the Early Iron Age, the 12th to the 8th century BC. During that period, the Greek society experienced far-reaching transformations which become evident in the destruction of the Mycenaean palaces and the process of the Greek polis formation.
The paleoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic data comes from sediment cores, which were first retrieved from the valley of Stymphalia, and in a field campaign in 2017 in the neighbouring valleys of Pheneos and Kaisari. In a larger second field campaign in 2018, the Lakes Trichonida, the larges Greek lake, and Lake Vouliagmeni were successfully cored. The cores are currently analysed sedimentologically and geochemically (XRF and biomarkers). The first results from Stymphalia have been published in spring 2019 (Seguin et al., Quaternary Science Review).

The coring platform in Lake Vouliagmeni (photo: Unkel)
The coring platform in Lake Vouliagmeni (photo: Unkel)

 

The freshly retrieved sediment cores are documented on-site before they are carefully wrapped fort he transport to Kiel (photo: Unkel).
The freshly retrieved sediment cores are documented on-site before they are carefully wrapped fort he transport to Kiel (photo: Unkel).

 

Coring in the drained valley of Pheneos (photo: Unkel)
Coring in the drained valley of Pheneos (photo: Unkel)