Miletos and the Milesia –
Seven millennia of ongoing landscape change

Helmut Brückner & alii

, par Annick Fenet

Vendredi 10 décembre 2021, 16h-19h
Conférence en visioconférence, dans le cadre du séminaire « Géographie historique et géoarchéologie » (5/12)


Lien vers la visioconférence
ID de réunion : 997 7080 3742 / Code secret : AOROC2021


Helmut Brückner (univ. de Cologne) et alii

Miletos and the Milesia – Seven millennia of ongoing landscape change

Résumé / abstract :

Since mid-Holocene times, the Büyük Mender (ancient Maiandros) has advanced its delta, silting up a marine embayment which had once reached inland for tens of kilometres. To describe this terrestrial-marine-terrestrial evolution of estuarine islands we coined the term “life cycle of estuarine islands”. Besides other factors, such as natural erosion, sea-level changes, and tectonic activities, the delta progradation was mainly governed by riverine sediment load, which, in turn, was to a great extent dependent on human impact on the vegetation cover of the drainage basins. Based on historical accounts as well as modern geoarchaeological research it is possible to reconstruct the spatio-temporal evolution of the landscape.

For Miletos and the Büyük Menderes (Maiandros,Maeander) graben, remarkable transformations have been revealed : the metamorphosis of the marine gulf into residual lakes (Lake Azap, Lake Bafa), the landlocking of islands (Hybanda, Lade, Asteria, Nergiz Tepe), the transition of the Milesian archipelago to a peninsula and finally to a part of the floodplain. A dramatic effect of the ongoing accumulation of fine-grained sediments was the siltation of harbours - a major reason for the decline of the once flourishing coastal cities of Myous, Priene, Herakleia, and finally Miletos, today some 8 km inland.

Fig. (attached file) : Progradation of the Büyük Menderes (Maiandros, Maeander, Meander) delta since 1500 BC. The advancing delta front has continuously shifted the shoreline towards the southwest, infilling the former marine embayment. Bafa Gölü has not been silted up since the delta bypassed this region and sediment input from the adjacent mountains is low. The former islands of Lade, Hybanda, and Nergiz Tepe (N) have meanwhile been landlocked.

Responsable : Anca Dan