Holocene fluvial dynamics and geoarchaeology on Mediterranean islands

A.G. Brown, Kevin James Walsh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This paper presents a review and preliminary meta-data analysis, of Holocene fluvial archives from Mediterranean islands by island group. For geomorphological reasons islands have not received as much attention from fluvial geomorphologists as the continental areas surrounding the Mediterranean. However, the studies that have been undertaken, suggest that they can reveal both climatic and cultural drivers of erosion and sedimentation from relatively small catchments. Although more research is needed, the preliminary analysis published here, suggests that during the mid-Holocene ca. 3 000 BC to 800 BC, and the later Holocene, ca. 400 BC to 1 600 AD, many islands experienced elevated rates of fluvial activity. Both periods, and particularly the earlier period are the result of climatic fluctuations combined with agriculture and cleared landscapes. At present the Little Ice Age signal appears to be less strong than it is on the continent although it has been recognised in Corsica and Crete. Due to their bounded nature and generally distinct cultural history islands do, however, offer excellent opportunities to research the non-linear relationships between culture, climatic change and fluvial response.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGéoarchéologie des îles de Méditerranée/Geoarchaeology of the Mediterranean Islands
EditorsMatthieu Ghilardi, Franck Leandri
Place of PublicationParis
PublisherEditions CNRS
Pages201 - 214
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)ISBN : 978-2-271-08915-1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Mediterranean
  • Mediterranean climate
  • Geoarchaelogy, earth sciences
  • Archaeology

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