Late Holocene environmental changes in the vicinity of Kultepe (Kayseri), Central Anatolia, Turkey

ŞENKUL Ç., ÖREN A., DOĞAN U., Eastwood W. J.

QUATERNARY INTERNATIONAL, vol.486, pp.107-115, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 486
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.quaint.2017.12.044
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.107-115
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: Yes


The Central Anatolian Region (CAR), being a high orogenic plateau (1000-1500 masl) is located between the Pontides in the north and the Taurides in the south, has a semi-arid climate. Significant changes occurred in vegetation and human activities within the CAR due to climate changes during the Holocene. On the other hand, the anthropogenic effect on vegetation in the region which has experienced intensive settlements since the beginning of the Neolithic period, has become the destiny of the region. In this study, the pollen data obtained from Lake Engir are presented to show the effect of the late Holocene vegetation, climate changes and anthropogenic effect on vegetation around the archaeological settlement of Kultepe. The archaeological settlement of Kultepe which is an important Assyrian trade colony, dated between 3000 BC and 1000 BP, is located in the north of Kayseri in the CAR. Within the scope of this study, aiming to shed light on the paleo-environmental conditions during this settlement period, the pollen data characterizing the period between 2300 and 300 BP were obtained from core samples collected from Lake Engir near Kultepe. A total of 71 taxa were identified from palynological analysis of core samples. Significant changes in paleoclimatic conditions and vegetation were determined from these analysis. Significant changes were experienced between the years 1930-1820, 1850-1760, 1760-1650 and 1650-1470 BP in vegetation. The climate changes indicated by vegetation changes were determined as wet and dry periods. Wet periods took place between the years 2300-1850, 1760-1650, 1400-1150 and 920-300 BP, and dry periods took place in the years 1850-1760 and 1650-1400 and 1150-920 BP. The Beysehir Occupation Phase representing an intensive agricultural period occurred between the years 1850-1400 BP, and this period suddenly ended at 1400 BP. This situation is related to the abandonment of the land with regard to the Arab raids on Anatolia between the years 1400-1150 BP. The pine forests developed again in this period. Agriculture and animal husbandry activities in which cereal farming was dominant started since 1050 BP. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. All rights reserved.