Vegetation record of the last three millennia in central Anatolia: Archaeological and palaeoclimatic insights from Mogan Lake (Ankara, Turkey)


OYBAK DÖNMEZ E., OCAKOĞLU F., AKBULUT A., TUNOĞLU C., GÜMÜŞ B. A. , TUNCER A., ...More

QUATERNARY SCIENCE REVIEWS, vol.262, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 262
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2021.106973
  • Title of Journal : QUATERNARY SCIENCE REVIEWS

Abstract

In this study, the high-resolution palynological data derived from two cores taken from Mogan Lake in the Golbasi Basin of the Ankara region in central Anatolia (Turkey) are presented. The results provide the palaeobotanical, palaeoclimatological and palaeoenvironmental records of the last ca. 3100 years for the region which is characterised by rich natural resources and a long human occupation history. The major climatic events and the archaeological-historical periods, which are well established in previous works, along with textual sources, are related to vegetation history inferred from the palynological investigation in the study area. Five main vegetation phases are distinguished and interpreted. Our findings demonstrate that the phases of limited woody vegetation cover are chiefly coupled to several dry climate periods, with some exceptions. Steppe vegetation in an open landscape accompanied by more cultural indicators and lesser arboreal elements is inferred during the Near-East Aridification Phase at the LBA-Iron Age transition (c. 1200-850 BCE), Roman Warm Period before 700 CE, Medieval Warm Period at about 1020 CE, the 1500s and twentieth century. Only during the three dry episodes in the 1600s, 1800s and at the start of Modern Warming Period (in the twentieth century) partial arboreal recovery is deduced, and land-cover patterns are related to both natural and human-induced factors. The most extensive pine-dominated forest cover coincides mainly with the three wet climatic episodes, in Galatians times of the Hellenistic Period at c. 2080 BP, the 700s CE of the middle Byzantine era, the Seljuqs Dynasty and the earlier Ottoman Periods (c. 1165-1432/1435 CE). The former episode is represented by remarkable signs of human interference, while the others have marks of sporadically less cultivated landscape. It is concluded that a combination of various factors can be taken into account as the drivers of vegetation changes in the Ankara region, but climate appears to have been the primary agent in shaping the land-cover. (C) 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.