Climate in the eastern Mediterranean, and adjacent regions, during the past 6000 years - A review
2011 (English)In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 38, no 12, 3153-3173 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
The eastern Mediterranean, with its long archaeological and historical records, provides a unique opportunity to study human responses to climate variability. We review paleoclimate data and reconstructions from the region with a focus on the last 6000 years. We aim to provide an up-to-date source of information on climate variability and to outline present limitations and future opportunities. The review work is threefold: (1) literature review, (2) spatial and temporal analysis of proxy records, and (3) statistical estimation of uncertainties in present paleoclimate reconstructions (temperature, C). On a regional scale the review reveals a wetter situation from 6000 to 5400 yrs BP (note: all ages in this paper are in calibrated years before present (i.e. before 1950), abbreviated yrs BP, unless otherwise stated). This is followed by a less wet period leading up to one of fully-developed aridity from c. 4600 yrs BP. There is a need for more high-resolution paleoclimate records, in order to (i) better understand regional patterns and trends versus local climate variability and to (ii) fill the gap of data from some regions, such as the Near East, Greece and Egypt. Further, we evaluate the regional occurrence of a proposed widespread climate event at 4200 yrs BP. This proposed climate anomaly has been used to explain profound changes in human societies at different locations in the region around this time. We suggest that although aridity was widespread around 4200 yrs BP in the eastern Mediterranean region, there is not enough evidence to support the notion of a climate event with rapidly drying conditions in this region.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 38, no 12, 3153-3173 p.
Climate variability, Late Holocene, Climate event, Eastern Mediterranean, Climate reconstructions
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-74055DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2011.05.007ISI: 000297384300001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-74055DiVA: diva2:506423
authorCount :52012-02-282012-02-282014-10-08Bibliographically approved