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

Emel Oybak Dönmez*, Faruk Ocakoğlu, Aydın Akbulut, Cemal Tunoğlu, Burçin Aşkım Gümüş, Alaettin Tuncer, Tolga Görüm, Muammer Tün

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4 Atıf (Scopus)


In this study, the high-resolution palynological data derived from two cores taken from Mogan Lake in the Gölbaşı 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.

Orijinal dilİngilizce
Makale numarası106973
DergiQuaternary Science Reviews
Yayın durumuYayınlandı - 15 Haz 2021
Harici olarak yayınlandıEvet

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© 2021


This study was financially supported by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK; project no 114Y557 ). Our thanks are due to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Çetin Şenkul of Süleyman Demirel University and his postgraduate students for valuable assistance in the collection of MS and MD sediment samples by corers; to Beyler Tılısbık and Yıldırım İsa Albut for technical support in the field studies; to Prof. Dr. Meryem Beklioğlu of Middlle East Technical University for useful discussions concerning limnological issues, to Prof. Dr. Serkan Akkiraz of Dumlupınar University for drawing the pollen diagrams by the Tilia Software Package, to Prof. Dr. Halime Hüryılmaz (Hacettepe University), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ali Akın Akyol (Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University), Gölbaşı Manupulicity and Mustafa Demirci from the Cultural and Social Affairs Section for providing some archaeological and historical sources; to İsmail Arabacı, Özlem Toygar, Gözde Şen, Gizem Aktaş, Duygu Gövdeli and Kübra Ecevit for conducting limnological and geochemical laboratory analyses. İsmail Yılmaz helped with the running of Bchron R package for age-depth model building. We would also like to thank the anonymous referees and the editors for their constructive comments and recommendations.

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Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Araştirma Kurumu

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