Foraminifera as markers of Holocene sea-level fluctuations and water depths of ancient harbours — A case study from the Bay of Elaia (W Turkey)
Martin Seeliger, Anna Pint, Peter Frenzel, Stefan Feuser, Felix Pirson, Svenja Riedesel, Helmut Brückner
The absence of common sea-level indicators in the study area of Elaia, Pergamum’s harbour city in Hellenistic and Roman times, forced to establish a new reliable indicator, which was found in the foraminifera associations in connection with the transgressive contact. The strength of this indicator is the exclusion of post-depositional compaction. Accompanied by a well-dated archaeological index point at a breakwater, the micropalaeontological indicator enabled the establishment of a reliable regional sea-level curve (RSL curve) for the Bay of Elaia. It is in good agreement with other curves for the Aegean region and in general agreement to the glacio-hydro-isostatic model for the region. Our sea-level curve proves, for the first time at a continental site on the Turkish Aegean coast, the today’s sea-level peak. Water-depth modelling for the so-called closed harbour of Elaia reveals the capacity to fully accommodate the common ship classes of Hellenistic and early Roman times until around 150 CE, while water depth estimates for the so-called open harbour of the city verifies the usage of the adjacent ship sheds during Elaia’s prime.
Keywords: Sea-level curve; Aegean; Draught modelling; Hellenistic times; Pergamum; Asia minor
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