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Tephrochronology in south-Cappadocia (Turkey): first evidence of regular eruptions from LGM to Mid-Holocene and Roman period, and impacts/non-impacts on human settlements

Abstract : In the frame of Turkish-French research cooperation in geo-archaeology, palaeo-environment and palaeoclimate projects, 19 cores and 6 sections in lake/marsh/river sediments have been studied in relation to archaeological researches in south-central Anatolia. The cores and sections have been studied in four different locations: (1) The Melendiz river valley terraces and nearby marshes (Aksaray Prov.); (2) Çiftlik and (3) Bor Plains (Niğde Prov.); and (4) the Ereğli Plain (Konya Prov.).These geosystems belong to the southern part of the Volcanic Cappadocian Province (Melendiz river system and Çiftlik plain) and to the endorheic depressions lying north of the Taurus karstic highlands (Bor and Ereğli plains). In the sequences presented, tephra layers of various thickness, grain size and lithic composition have been identified, characterized and dated. The results highly enrich our knowledge of the LGM to Holocene activity of volcanoes in the region. In the Hasandağ, researches have evidenced eruption occurrences at 35, 29, 15 7 ± 0.6 and 3 to 0 kyrs ago (Pastre et al. 1997; Kuzucuoğlu et al. 1998; Schmitt et al., 2014; Guillou, pers. information) whereas the hypothetic sketched of an eruption over the wall of a Neolithic house dated 8.8-8.5 kyrs ago (Mellaart, 1968; Hodder, 2006) is still under discussion. In the Erciyes dağ, a rhyolitic activity is dated 9.5 kyrs ago (Aydar et al. in Hamann et al.,2010; Sarıkaya et al. 2018). In the Acıgöl caldera, recent activity is dated 25 to 18 kyrs ago (Kuzucuoğlu et al., 1999;) and Late Glacial to Early Holocene tephra layers have been trapped in Eski Acigöl maar (Kuzucuoğlu et al., 1998; Roberts et al., 2001; Mouralis et al., 2003). No pytoclastite has yet been dated in the Karadağ (between Ereğli and Konya). Sequences presented enlighten our knowledge about Cappadocian eruptions and their impacts on populations, as some of them are closely associated with archaeological sites. Eruptions -from different volcanoes (?)- occurred quite regularly within 2 to 1 kyr intervals between at least 19.6 and 7.4 kyrs cal BP. Also identified both in a core and in an archaeological site, a pumice fall has been dated ca 2 kyrs ago. Such results are of tremendous importance as they show that: - not only populations lived together with eruptions from LGM to Mid-Holocene, - but this remarkably regular magmatic activity in the region has been widely ignored until now. As a result, it is clear that eruption risk must be considered seriously in the region, with monitoring installed over at least two volcanoes, the Hasan Dağ and the Erciyes Dağ. Authors are most thankful for support from Profs. M. Özbaşaran (Aşıklı Höyük exc.), E. Bıçakçı (Tepecik-Çiftlik exc.), M. Godon (Melendiz project), L. d’Alfonso (Kınık Höyük exc.), Ç. Maner (KEYAR arch. survey, Koç Univ.), and financial contribution from Artemis/INSU, ArchéoMed (INEE)/PaléoMex, Halis Demir Univ. at Niğde (Project A. Gürel), MAE’s Melendiz archaeologic mission (project M. Godon), Labex DynamiTe of Paris 1 University, and LMC14 14C preparation Lab at Gif and measuring Artemis AMS facility at Saclay.
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Contributor : Jean-François Pastre <>
Submitted on : Monday, November 25, 2019 - 2:48:35 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - 2:58:16 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-02379010, version 1


Catherine Kuzucuoğlu, Ségolène Saulnier-Copard, Mouralis Damase, Ali Gürel, Jean-Pascal Dumoulin, et al.. Tephrochronology in south-Cappadocia (Turkey): first evidence of regular eruptions from LGM to Mid-Holocene and Roman period, and impacts/non-impacts on human settlements. INQUA 20th Congress, Jul 2019, Dublin, Ireland. ⟨hal-02379010⟩



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