Dating palaeolithic sites in southwestern crete greece

Dating palaeolithic sites in southwestern crete greece

Thank you for visiting nature. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer. In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript. A Nature Research Journal. Studies of past sea-level markers are commonly used to unveil the tectonic history and seismic behavior of subduction zones.

The Southern Greek Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic Sequence at Franchthi Cave

Thank you for visiting nature. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer. In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript. A Nature Research Journal. Studies of past sea-level markers are commonly used to unveil the tectonic history and seismic behavior of subduction zones.

We present new evidence on vertical motions of the Hellenic subduction zone as resulting from a suite of Late Pleistocene - Holocene shorelines in western Crete Greece. Shoreline ages obtained by AMS radiocarbon dating of seashells, together with the reappraisal of shoreline ages from previous works, testify a long-term uplift rate of 2. This average value, however, includes periods in which the vertical motions vary significantly: A preliminary tectonic model attempts at explaining these up and down motions by across-strike partitioning of fault activity in the subduction zone.

Studies of past sea-level markers are commonly used to unveil the tectonic history and infer the seismic behavior of subduction zones 1 , 2 , 3. These studies usually provide estimates of upper-plate long-term uplift trends often with a large variability at the 10 5 -year timescale 4 , 5. Explanations proposed for this variability include the roughness of the subducting plate and down-dip variations of the locked zone 6. Vertical motion also manifests sign changes at the timescale of 10 2 —10 3 years due to the subduction earthquake cycle 7 , and at few-years distance on occasion of distinct earthquakes 8.

In the Mediterranean Sea, the Hellenic subduction is the one with a supposed capability of generating very large earthquakes and tsunamis. This awareness is mainly brought forward by the historical notion of the AD event 9 , 10 , In this subduction zone, the island of Crete is one of few accessible places that may provide tectonic information on the overriding plate Figure 1. In recent times, uplift is testified by raised shorelines and marine terraces in southwestern Crete reported in studies as old as that of Spratt 13 and recent ones, e.

Peterek et al. Nearby Paleochora, several shorelines are recognizable at various elevations; some of them are of Late Pleistocene age and correlated with eustatic peaks Supplementary Table S1 online. The black square indicates location of the studied coastline nearby Paleochora. With respect to previous estimates, our results suggest a faster net uplift rate and 10 4 -year-long periods of alternating uplift and subsidence, during which the vertical movements are very different from the net average.

Although a thorough tectonic explanation of these vertical movements is beyond the scope of this work, this behavior may be explained by across-strike partitioning of tectonic activity e. Knowledge of these variations can contribute to better understanding the long-term behavior of the Hellenic subduction zone, and help constrain its earthquake productivity.

Apart from the stretch between Krios and Plakaki, alluvial fans and deep incisions alters the lateral continuity of shorelines only locally. Kalamia site notches and their elevations see Figure 3 for location: Sketch profile of the whole Kalamia site left and synoptic view right of all the raised shorelines and their ages in the Paleochora broader area; major and minor shoreline features are indicated by thick and thin segments, respectively; vertical extent of sedimentary bodies is indicated by double arrows.

Other symbols: S1 is very continuous and well exposed and it is actually composed by a suite of several features of different ages. The highest in the suite, denoted S1-high, consists of a notch with algal concretions at 8. At places, remnants of a pebbly beachrock adjoin the main notch, and one such pebbly beach deposit at 8. We denote the lowermost notch in this suite as S1-low. AMS ages allow correlation of the entire S1 suite with that described by Pirazzoli et al. S3 is located at It can be followed almost continuously for hundreds of meters and is characterized by a well developed notch and lithophagid boreholes, with adjoining sea arches, caves, and small abrasion platform remnants.

Several minor notches can also be seen below the main feature. The age of S2, whose remnants are essentially lithophagid boreholes and a notch, is constrained by a Lithophaga sp. Two of them were found included at the top and bottom of a 1. The oldest sample was found in loose sediment and can thus be suspected of having been misplaced. The analyzed series of shoreline remnants is entirely exposed only at Kalamia. Similar shoreline remnants can also be seen in other parts of Crete but they are not considered in this study.

However, considering the scatter among curves in different periods 23 , resorting to specific literature data for each single time interval is necessary. For the Holocene in Crete, two models exist: Yellow dashed line represents the long-term average uplift trend; blue dashed line depicts main up-and-down trend. Notice that Kel14C and Sha14C ages are not calibrated. The star symbol marks a sample age discarded by Wegmann 15 because of contamination. Further details in Supplementary Tables S1 and S3 online.

Are some of the shoreline points in Figure 4 full-fledged indicators of important deviations from the average long-term uplift trend? Attaining the S4 to S5 vertical separation thus requires a net subsidence rate of 2. Episodic downward movements led to the formation of the other several shorelines of the S1 suite and S1-high itself, which were then all displaced by the uplift event in AD 19 , For what concerns S3, finding of KB26A partly fills the gap of lower-mid Holocene data pointed out by Kelletat 27 and provides the first evidence for a Holocene shoreline above S1-high.

S3 should have been abandoned in a period between the age of KB26A and the age of the oldest shoreline of the S1 suite Figure 3. The net late-Holocene uplift rate in Crete is slightly different depending on which of two sea-level models is adopted for the time of S3 abandonment. Mature accretionary convergent margins are known to develop distinct kinematic domains across-strike which can also host splay faults.

Along-dip partitioning of the slab itself are also documented in subduction zones and have been explained by various driving mechanisms In the Hellenic subduction, the best known uplift event in Crete, i. Building on this knowledge and as a preliminary attempt to explain the reconstructed vertical motions, we envisage that 10 4 -year timescale rate variations can be explained by fault activity partitioning across the subduction zone.

To this end, we subdivide the subduction zone into two separate sections, front and rear, across the main slab dip change and set up a series of four distinct dislocation models which include fault slip on the subduction interface and on prospective splay faults Figure 5. Front section: A1, interface solid blue ; A2, splay dashed blue. Rear section: B1, interface solid red ; B2, splay dashed red.

Notice that the relative fault rupture positions and the fault dip angles determine vertical movements of opposite sign at the observation point Paleochora. Based on these fault-dislocation models, we suggest that periods of enhanced uplift rates at Paleochora occur when activity in the subduction rear section dominates i.

When considering splay ruptures through the upper plate the uplift trend is further emphasized. Because of their high dip angle these faults mainly produce uplift and limited subsidence. Conversely, stability or lowering at Paleochora occurs when the fault activity primarily involves the subduction front section i.

Persistence of this activity can explain both the lowering episodes recorded by the S1 suite 18 and the subsidence between S4 and S5. Because of their low dip angle, these faults produce significant subsidence in Crete and uplift offshore south of Crete. The alternating phases of uplift and subsidence recorded by the raised shorelines on the coast of Crete may thus reflect backward and forward shifting of tectonic activity across the Hellenic subduction system as also observed at a different timescale in other subduction zones e.

Solomon Islands 8. Major uncertainties in our reconstruction of the Paleochora shoreline suite are represented by the measure of their elevation and spatial correlation, and the sample age determination and sampling site conditions. Uncertainty can be occasionally higher for gravel deposits or other coarse shoreline features. The short horizontal distance that separates most remnants allows us considering the lateral correlation based on geomorphic criteria to be relatively robust.

We cannot exclude that the algal reef in the Paleochora peninsula can be correlated with S5 but this alternative would not affect our interpretation of the results. X-ray diffraction analysis shows that radiocarbon ages are not affected by calcite recrystallization. Considering that real ages of Lithophaga sp. The site conditions Supplementary Table S2 online indicate a strong bond between samples and shoreline in all cases except for WKB6, suggesting that its age is not totally reliable to ascertain the age of S5.

The accuracy of uplift rate estimates is affected by all the above uncertainties along with uncertainties about past sea-level elevations However, these differences are relatively small compared with the uncertainty in sea-level elevation at the time of shoreline formation or abandonment and mainly depend on interpretations of individual shorelines. Nonetheless, the reconstructed pattern of ups and downs clearly deviates from the average trend Figure 4 supporting the idea that vertical displacement in Crete may strongly fluctuate over a 10 4 -year timescale.

For completeness of information, we note that some other shoreline ages nearby Paleochora Supplementary Table S1 online are difficult to reconcile with our reconstruction. For example, Kelletat and Zimmermann 32 provided an uncalibrated age of 5. However, Wegmann 15 also provided 36 Cl exposure ages for some raised shorelines around Paleochora that, when combined with the eustatic curve, fit quite well with our reconstruction Figure 4.

Because of the dominating role of convergence in the Hellenic subduction, our preliminary tectonic model only focuses on fault activity in the subduction zone and neglects possible contributions from other processes, such as the crustal extension in the upper plate see for example modeled geodetic rates from Reilinger et al. Nor have we investigated the role of the various driving mechanisms of fault activity in the subduction system see Kopp 28 for a review.

Nonetheless, at this stage of the analysis we propose a simple model that together with our findings shows that tectonic rates may vary depending on both timescale and location of the observation point with respect to the subduction architecture. As we progressively unveil vertical tectonic rate fluctuations at various timescale in subduction zones, the analysis of raised shorelines proves to be an effective tool to improve our understanding of long-term processes which complement other observables such as decadal instrumental measurements.

In this perspective, detailed shoreline analyses can shed light on maximum deviations of tectonic rates with respect to long-term averages. Since earthquake productivity estimates can be derived from tectonic rates e. Geist and Parsons 35 , a compelling implication in active subduction zones is that earthquake rates may considerably vary as a function of location and time interval considered. Raised shorelines are identified by coastal notches, lithophagid boreholes, sea caves, coastal terraces, abrasion platforms, and sand-to-gravel beach deposits.

Their present elevations are measured through geodimeter land surveying. The AMS radiocarbon technique is used for dating seashells or encrusting organisms sampled directly from the shoreline feature. X-ray diffraction analysis XRD of the inner parts of dated samples is used to verifying the preservation of the original aragonite phase of shells Pretreatment of samples includes mechanical and chemical removal of the outer portion in order to limit the effects of external contamination.

Laboratory error multiplier equal to 1 has been applied to all samples. When discussing radiocarbon ages taken from the literature we refer to values that are calibrated or re-calibrated in this same way. Radiocarbon ages are used for the chronological correlation of shorelines with the eustatic curve and MISs Supplementary Figure S3 online.

JOURNAL OF QUATERNARY SCIENCE () ISSN DOI: / jqs Dating Palaeolithic sites in southwestern Crete, Greece THOMAS F. Title: Dating Palaeolithic sites in southwestern Crete, Greece. Authors: Strasser, Thomas F.; Runnels, Curtis; Wegmann, Karl; Panagopoulou, Eleni; McCoy.

Palaeolithic artefacts discovered on some mixing of Mersin, TurkeyFrom Antiquity to. Read our best experience they could have exposed a regional context, the record Lambeck et rapide presentation des cultures du Mesolithique et des cultures du Paleolithique, du Neolithique View Reporting of hominins. Ma marathousa is anchored to by Elsevier B.

Skip to main content.

This Greek-American collaborative project funds research on the Stone Age discoveries around the village of Plakias in southwest Crete Greece. These artifacts not only represent the earliest tools ever discovered on Crete, they also demonstrate very precocious sea faring abilities by our pre- Homo sapiens ancestors. The goal is to fund further archaeological and geological research into these early phases of prehistory in the region.

It's better than Tinder!

The full text of this article hosted at iucr. E-mail address: Use the link below to share a full-text version of this article with your friends and colleagues. Learn more. Discussions of dispersals of early hominins from Africa assume that Southwest Asia and the Arabian Peninsula were the primary passageways for migrations to Eurasia.

Project Overview

By Dr. Jeremy B. Franchthi Cave is unique in Greece in having an essentially unbroken series of deposits spanning the period from ca. This is by far the longest recorded continuous occupational sequence from any one site in Greece. The site itself is located in and immediately outside of a large cave in the southeastern Argolid, across a small bay from the modern Greek village of Koilada. Excavation at the site began in and ended in The dates for the various phases of occupation in the cave are derived from radiocarbon C analysis of a total of over fifty samples, the largest number of radiocarbon samples from any prehistoric site in Greece. The earliest radiocarbon date is ca.

Karl W. Katerina Kouli Assist.

He was planning to conduct dissertation research on the early Palaeolithic in the Aegean region, and it was while conducting research in Turkey that he died in an accidental fall in July of Chad was a respected and much loved member of our archaeological community. He began his academic career at Providence College in Rhode Island, where he graduated magna cum laude in

Dating palaeolithic sites in southwestern crete greece

Posted by Kristina Killgrove July 21, A recently published article in the Journal of Quaternary Science by Strasser and colleagues suggests new dates for stone tools discovered on the island of Crete. Namely, the artifacts are associated with geological strata that date to the late Middle Pleistocene or early Late Pleistocene, meaning a terminus ante quem of , years ago. An archaeological survey in the Plakias area of Crete between uncovered nine sites and over artifacts. The stone tools discovered were Acheulean in type, with bifaces, cleavers, cores, and flake tools made out of quartz, and are similar to tools found elsewhere on the Greek mainland: Bifaces from Crete. Strasser and colleagues , Figure 2 Through an impressive array of geological and chemical analyses which I don't have time to delve into at the moment , the authors conclude that these tools represent the earliest known occupation of Crete, placing it at around , years ago. This date contradicts the assumption that Crete was not occupied until the advent of anatomically modern humans. According to Strasser and colleagues: This would indicate that early hominins were able to reach Crete from Greece, Turkey, the Near East or Africa by crossing open bodies of water.

Ups and downs in western Crete (Hellenic subduction zone)

Skip to search form Skip to main content. Gallen and K. Wegmann and DelWayne R. Bohnenstiehl and Frank J. Pazzaglia and Mark T. Gallen , K. Save to Library.

{{ content.title }}

Franchthi Cave is unique in Greece in having an essentially unbroken series of deposits spanning the period from ca. This is by far the longest recorded continuous occupational sequence from any one site in Greece. The site itself is located in and immediately outside of a large cave in the southeastern Argolid, across a small bay from the modern Greek village of Koilada. Excavation at the site began in and ended in The dates for the various phases of occupation in the cave are derived from radiocarbon C analysis of a total of over fifty samples, the largest number of radiocarbon samples from any prehistoric site in Greece. The earliest radiocarbon date is ca. Inhabitants of the cave were probably seasonal hunter-gatherers.

Active simultaneous uplift and margin-normal extension in a forearc high, Crete, Greece

Figure 1. Alluvial fan sequence near Mochlos, Crete. Wave-cut scarps and fallen sediment blocks are visible in the foreground. View to the west. To reach Europe, archaic hominins followed multiple pathways, including a terrestrial route through south-west Asia Carbonell et al. But did archaic hominins use boats to cross the open sea with islands as possible way points Simmons The as-yet-undated fan sequence extends 4km along the coast east of the modern village of Mochlos and reaches c. It was created during the Quaternary by large magnitude episodic sedimentation events within local watersheds through extensive erosion of upland mountain hinterlands to the south that produced vast volumes of boulders, cobbles and coarse-grained sediments, paving valley floors and accumulating in alluvial fans.

Ups and downs in western Crete (Hellenic subduction zone)

.

.

A Tour of the Ancient Greek Ruins of Knossos, Crete
Related publications