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Submerged Landscapes of the European Continental Shelf: Quaternary Paleoenvironments

Nicholas C. Flemming (Editor), Jan Harff (Editor), Delminda Moura (Editor), Anthony Burgess (Editor), Geoffrey N. Bailey (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-118-92213-2
552 pages
August 2017, Wiley-Blackwell
Submerged Landscapes of the European Continental Shelf: Quaternary Paleoenvironments (1118922131) cover image


Quaternary Paleoenvironments examines the drowned landscapes exposed as extensive and attractive territory for prehistoric human settlement during the Ice Ages of the Pleistocene, when sea levels dropped to 120m-135m below their current levels. This volume provides an overview of the geological, geomorphological, climatic and sea-level history of the European continental shelf as a whole, as well as a series of detailed regional reviews for each of the major sea basins. The nature and variable attractions of the landscapes and resources available for human exploitation are examined, as are the conditions under which archaeological sites and landscape features are likely to have been preserved, destroyed or buried by sediment during sea-level rise. The authors also discuss the extent to which we can predict where to look for drowned landscapes with the greatest chance of success, with frequent reference to examples of preserved prehistoric sites in different submerged environments.

Quaternary Paleoenvironments will be of interest to archaeologists, geologists, marine scientists, palaeoanthropologists, cultural heritage managers, geographers, and all those with an interest in the drowned landscapes of the continental shelf.
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Table of Contents

Contributors vii

Foreword xi

Preface xv

Acknowledgement xvii

Chapter 1: Introduction: Prehistoric Remains on the Continental Shelf – Why do Sites and Landscapes Survive Inundation? 1
Nic Flemming, Jan Harff, Delminda Moura  and Anthony Burgess

Chapter 2: Sea Level and Climate 11
J. Harff, N. Flemming, A. Groh, B. Hünicke, G. Lericolais, M. Meschede, A. Rosentau, D. Sakellariou, S. Uscinowicz, W. Zhang, E. Zorita

Chapter 3: Non-Cultural Processes of Site Formation, Preservation and Destruction 51
Nic Flemming, Jan Harff and Delminda Moura

Chapter 4: Standard Core Variables for Continental Shelf Prehistoric Research and Their Availability 83
Nic Flemming

Chapter 5: The Baltic Sea Basin 103
Alar Rosentau, Ole Bennike, Szymon U cinowicz and Grażyna Miotk-Szpiganowicz

Chapter 6: The Northwest Shelf 135
Kieran Westley

Chapter 7: The North Sea 147
Kim M. Cohen, Kieran Westley, Gilles Erkens, Marc P. Hijma, and Henk J.T. Weerts

Chapter 8: Northern North Sea and Atlantic Northwest Approaches 187
Sue Dawson, Richard Bates, Caroline Wickham-Jones and Alastair Dawson

Chapter 9: Paleolandscapes of the Celtic Sea and the Channel/La Manche 211
R. Helen Farr, Garry Momber, Julie Satchell and Nic Flemming

Chapter 10: Irish Sea and Atlantic Margin 241
Kieran Westley and Robin Edwards

Chapter 11: The Iberian Atlantic Margin 281
Delminda Moura, Ana Gomes and João Horta

Chapter 12: The Western Mediterranean Sea 301
Miquel Canals, Isabel Cacho, Laurent Carozza, José Luis Casamor, Galderic Lastras, and Anna Sànchez

Chapter 12 – Western Mediterranean: Annex 1

Submerged Karst Structures of the French Mediterranean Coast: An Assessment 333
Yves Billaud

Chapter 13:  The Central Mediterranean 341
Fabrizio Antonioli, Francesco L. Chiocci, Marco Anzidei, Lucilla Capotondi, Daniele Casalbore, Donatella Magri and Sergio Silenzi

Chapter 14:  Physical Characteristics of the Continental Shelves of the East Mediterranean Basin, Submerged Settlements and Landscapes – Actual Finds and Potential Discoveries 377
Ehud Galili, Yaacov Nir, Dina Vachtman and Yossi Mart

Chapter 15: Late Pleistocene Environmental Factors of the Aegean Region (Aegean Sea Including the Hellenic Arc) and the Identification of Potential Areas for Seabed Prehistoric Sites and Landscapes 405
D. Sakellariou, V. Lykousis, M. Geraga, G. Rousakis and T. Soukisian

Chapter 16: Geological and Geomorphological Factors and Marine Conditions of the Azov-Black Sea Basin and Coastal Characteristics as They Determine Prospecting for Seabed Prehistoric Sites on the Continental Shelf 431
Valentina Yanko-Hombach,  Evgeny Schnyukov,  Anatoly Pasynkov,  Valentin Sorokin, Pavel Kuprin,  Nikolay Maslakov, Irena Motnenko and Olena Smyntyna

Chapter 17: Late Pleistocene Environmental Factors defining the Black Sea, and Submerged Landscapes on the Western Continental Shelf 479
Gilles Lericolais

Chapter 18: Submerged Prehistoric Heritage Potential of the Romanian Black Sea Shelf 497
Glicherie Caraivan, Valentina Voinea, Corneliu Cerchia



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Author Information

Nicholas C. Flemming has studied submerged terrestrial archaeological sites and changes of sea level for more than 50 years, and is the author of several books and papers on the subject. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, a Fellow of the Society for Underwater Technology, and a Vice-President of the Nautical Archaeology Society.

Jan Harff is Professor of Geosciences and Seafloor Geology at the University of Szczecin, Poland. He collaborates with marine research institutes in the Baltic area and Scandinavia, Russia, the United States and China. He coordinated (together with Friedrich Lüth) the research project SINCOS (Sinking Coasts - Geosphere, Ecosphere and Anthroposphere of the Holocene Southern Baltic Sea), and chaired Working Group 2 ("Environmental Data and Reconstruction") of the COST Action TD0902: SPLASHCOS.

Delminda Moura is a geologist at the Universidade do Algarve- Centre for Marine and Environmental Research (CIMA), Portugal, conducting research on landscape evolution during the Quaternary, as forced by climatic and sea-level changes. She devotes particular attention to the use of morphological, sedimentological and biological proxies to reconstruct past sea levels.

Anthony Burgess graduated in 1996 from the University of Wales (Swansea), and then joined the Home Office, working as a crime analyst until 2008. After leaving the Home Office and enjoying an extended period of travel, he completed his masters in maritime archaeology at the University of Southampton, and is currently a PhD candidate in Archaeology at the University of Malta.

Geoffrey N. Bailey is Anniversary Professor of Archaeology in the University of York, and Chairman of the EU-funded SPLASHCOS programme. His research interests are in coastal prehistory, submerged landscapes and Quaternary-scale environmental change, and he has engaged in major projects on these themes in Australia, Africa, Greece, Saudi Arabia and the UK, most recently as Principal Investigator of the European Research Council DISPERSE Project, concerned with the role of geologically unstable landscapes and coastal environments in patterns of early human dispersal in Africa, the Red Sea and the Arabian Peninsula. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, a member of Academia Europaea, and President of the UISPP Commission on Coastal Prehistory and Submerged Landscapes.

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