Advertisement

Rapid Delta Growth in Historical Times at Ephesus and Miletus—The Examples of the Küçük and the Büyük Menderes Rivers

  • Helmut BrücknerEmail author
Chapter
Part of the World Geomorphological Landscapes book series (WGLC)

Abstract

Postglacial sea-level rise led to the development of extended marine gulfs in the grabens of the western margin of the Anatolian Plate. During the last seven millennia, these marine indentations have silted up due to the continued progradation of the deltas of major rivers. Good examples of this geomorphological metamorphosis from ria coasts to delta–floodplains are the Küçük Menderes (Cayster, Kaystros) and the Büyük Menderes (Maiandros, Maeander) valleys, with Ephesos and Miletos, respectively, as the most prominent ancient cities. This article outlines the spatio-temporal scenarios of these fundamental landscape changes. They are based on geoarchaeological criteria, archaeological evidence and information from literary sources.

Keywords

Geoarchaeology Postglacial transgression Delta progradation Landscape changes Cayster River Maeander River Ephesus Miletus Siltation of harbours 

References

  1. Brückner H (1994) Das Mittelmeergebiet als Naturraum. In: Martin J (ed) Das Alte Rom. Gütersloh, München, pp 13–29Google Scholar
  2. Brückner H (1997) Coastal changes in western Turkey—rapid delta progradation in historical times. CIESM science series, vol 3, pp 63–74 (Bulletin de l’Institut océanographique, numéro spécial 18, Musée océanographique, Monaco), MonacoGoogle Scholar
  3. Brückner H (2005) Holocene shoreline displacements and their consequences for human societies: the example of Ephesus in Western Turkey. Z f Geomorph N F 137:11–22Google Scholar
  4. Brückner H (2011) Geoarchäologie – in Forschung und Lehre. Tagungen des Landesmuseums für Vorgeschichte Halle (Saale) 6:9–20Google Scholar
  5. Brückner H, Gerlach R (2011) Geoarchäologie – von der Vergangenheit in die Zukunft. In: Gebhardt H, Glaser R, Radtke U, Reuber P (eds), 2nd edn. Geographie – Physische Geographie und Humangeographie. Spektrum-Verlag, Heidelberg, pp 1179–1186Google Scholar
  6. Brückner H, Müllenhoff M, Gehrels R, Herda A, Knipping M, Vött A (2006) From archipelago to floodplain—geographical and ecological changes in Miletus and its environs during the past six millennia (Western Anatolia, Turkey). Z f Geomorph N F 142:63–83Google Scholar
  7. Brückner H, Kraft JC, Kayan I (2008) Vom Meer umspült, vom Fluss begraben – zur Paläogeographie des Artemisions. In: Muss U (ed) Die Archäologie der ephesischen Artemis. Gestalt und Ritual eines Heiligtums. Phoibos Verlag, Wien, pp 21–31Google Scholar
  8. Brückner H, Urz R, Seeliger M (2013) Geomorphological and geoarchaeological evidence for considerable landscape changes at the coasts of western Turkey during the Holocene. GeoRS Geopedol Landsc Dev Res Ser 1:81–104Google Scholar
  9. Brückner H, Herda A, Müllenhoff M, Rabbel W, Stümpel H (2014a) On the Lion Harbour and other harbours in Miletos: recent historical, archaeological, sedimentological, and geophysical research. Proc Dan Inst Athens, VII, pp 49–103Google Scholar
  10. Brückner H, Herda A, Müllenhoff M, Rabbel W, Stümpel H (2014b) Der Löwenhafen von Milet - eine geoarchäologische Fallstudie. In: Ladstätter S, Pirson F, Schmidts T (eds) Harbors and Harbor Cities in the Eastern Mediterranean, vol 19, no 2. Veröffentlichungen des DAI Istanbul, Byzas, pp 773–806Google Scholar
  11. Brückner H, Herda A, Kerschner M, Müllenhoff M, Stock F (2017) Life cycle of estuarine islands—From the formation to the landlocking of former islands in the environs of Miletos and Ephesos in western Asia Minor (Turkey). J Archaeol Sci: Rep. 12:876–894.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.11.024CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Delile H, Blichert-Toft J, Goiran J-Ph, Stock F, Arnaud-Godet F, Bravard J-P, Brückner H, Albarède F (2015) Demise of a harbour: a geochemical chronicle from Ephesus. J Archaeol Sci 53:202–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Greaves AM (2010) The land of Ionia: Society and Economy in the Archaic Period. Chichester/Malden, MA, 269 ppGoogle Scholar
  14. Hassl AR, Brückner H, Dsikowitzky L, Heiss AG, Knipping M, Laermanns H, Pichler B, Pint A, Sauer R, Stock F, Ladstätter S (2018) Helminth egg deposition in the antique harbour of Ephesos. Österr Ges Hyg Mikrobiol Präventivmed (ÖGHMP), 36. Jahrestagung, 04.-07.06.2018, Graz. Abstract 45:35; ISBN 978-3-9503828-2-2Google Scholar
  15. Herda A, Brückner H, Knipping M, Müllenhoff M (2019) From the Gulf of Latmos to Lake Bafa. Historical, geoarchaeological and palynological insights into the anthropogeography of the Maeander Delta region (Turkey). Hesperia 89.1 (in print)Google Scholar
  16. Horejs B (2012) Çukuriçi Höyük. A neolithic and bronze age settlement in the region of Ephesos. In: Özdoğan M, Başgelen N, Kuniholm P (eds) The Neolithic in Turkey, vol 4. Archaeol. and Art Publ., Istanbul, pp 117–131Google Scholar
  17. Horejs and Çukuriçi Team (2013) Jahresbericht 2012, I.1.1.1. Çukuriçi Höyük. In: ÖAI (eds) Wissenschaftlicher Jahresbericht des Österreichischen Archäologischen Instituts. Wien, pp 5–9Google Scholar
  18. Kraft JC, Kayan I, Brückner H (2001) The geological and palaeogeographical environs of the Artemision. In: Muss U (ed) Der Kosmos der Artemis von Ephesos, vol 37. Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut, Sonderschriften, Wien, pp 123–133Google Scholar
  19. Kraft JC, Brückner H, Kayan I (2005) The sea under the city of ancient Ephesos. In: Brandt B, Gassner V, Ladstätter S (eds) Synergia. Festschrift F. Krinzinger, Bd. 1, Phoibos Verlag, Wien, pp 147–156Google Scholar
  20. Kraft JC, Brückner H, Kayan I, Engelmann H (2007) The geographies of ancient Ephesus and the Artemision in Anatolia. Geoarchaeology 22(1):121–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kraft JC, Rapp G, Brückner H, Kayan İ (2011) Results of the struggle at ancient Ephesus: natural processes 1, human intervention 0. Geol Soc Lond Spec Publ 352:27–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ledger ML, Stock F, Schwaiger H, Knipping M, Brückner H, Ladstätter S, Mitchell PD (2018) Intestinal parasites from public and private latrines and the harbour canal in Roman Period Ephesus, Turkey (1st c. BCE to 6th c. CE). J Archaeol Sci: Rep 21:289–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Müllenhoff M (2005) Geoarchäologische, sedimentologische und morphodynamische Untersuchungen im Mündungsgebiet des Büyük Menderes (Mäander), Westtürkei. Marburger Geographische Schriften, vol 141. MarburgGoogle Scholar
  24. Scherrer P (ed) (2000) Ephesus, the new guide, revised edition. Zero Production Ltd, Turkey, 250 ppGoogle Scholar
  25. Schindler A (1897) Umgebung von Ephesus. Topographische Karte 1:25000Google Scholar
  26. Schwarzbauer J, Stock F, Brückner H, Dsikowitzky L, Krichel M (2018) Molecular organic indicators for human activities in the Roman harbor of Ephesus, Turkey. Geoarchaeol 33:498–509Google Scholar
  27. Shumilovskikh LS, Seeliger M, Feuser S, Novenko E, Schlütz F, Pint A, Pirson F, Brückner H (2016) The harbour of Elaia: A palynological archive for human environmental interactions during the last 7500 years. Quaternary Science Reviews 149:167–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Steskal M (2014) Ephesus and its harbors: a city in search of its place. In: Ladstätter S, Pirson F, Schmidts T (eds) Harbors and Harbor Cities in the Eastern Mediterranean, vol 19, no 1. Veröffentlichungen des DAI Istanbul, Byzas, pp 325–338Google Scholar
  29. Stock F, Ehlers L, Horejs B, Knipping M, Ladstätter S, Seren S, Brückner H (2015) Neolithic settlement sites in Western Turkey—palaeogeographic studies at Çukuriçi Höyük and Arvalya Höyük. J Archaeol Sci: Rep 4:565–577CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Stock F, Halder S, Opitz S, Pint A, Seren S, Landsätter S, Brückner H (2017) Late Holocene coastline and landscape changes to the west of Ephesus, Turkey. Quat Int 1–15.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2017.09.024
  31. Stock F, Pint A, Horejs B, Ladstätter S, Brückner H (2013) In search of the harbours: new evidence of Late Roman and Byzantine harbours of Ephesus. Quat Int 312:57–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Stock F, Kerschner M, Kraft JC, Pint A, Frenzel P, Brückner H (2014) The palaeogeographies of Ephesos (Turkey), its harbours, and the Artemision—a geoarchaeological reconstruction for the timespan 1500–300 BC. Z f Geomorph 58(Suppl 2):33–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Stock F, Knipping M, Pint A, Ladstätter S, Delile H, Heiss AG, Laermanns H, Mitchell PD, Ployer R, Steskal M, Thanheiser U, Urz R, Wennrich V, Brückner H (2016) Human impact on Holocene sediment dynamics in the Eastern Mediterranean—the example of the Roman harbour of Ephesus. Earth Surf Proc Land 41:980–996CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Thonemann P (2011) The Maeander Valley: A Historical Geography from Antiquity to Byzantium. University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  35. Vött A, Brückner H, Kraft JC (2017) Do mythological traditions reflect past geographies? The Acheloos delta (Greece) and the Artemision (Turkey) case studies. Z f Geomorph 61(Suppl 1):203–221.  https://doi.org/10.1127/zfg_suppl/2017/0352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wille M (1995) Pollenanalysen aus dem Löwenhafen von Milet. Vorläufige Ergebnisse. Arch Anzeiger 1995:330–333Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Geography, University of CologneCologne (Köln)Germany

Personalised recommendations