DATE2022-05-30 10:14:30
TITLEThe Aegean: a paleoclimate synthesis
AUTHORSMartin Finné (1,2) ,Matthew Jacobson (3) ,Joana Seguin (4)
  1. 1) Uppsala University, Uppsala (Sweden) ,2) Navarino Environmental Observatory, Costa Navarino (Greece) ,3) University Of Glasgow, Glasgow (United Kingdom) ,4) Leibniz University Hannover, Hannover (Germany)
ABSTRACTThe Aegean has a long history of human presence that has left rich archaeological and paleoenvironmental remains that have been extensively studied. This, combined with a growing number of palaeoclimate records, makes the region a suitable testbed for human-environment-climate interactions at different time scales and in different environmental settings. In the past decade, the number of palaeoclimate records published from the Aegean has skyrocketed to ~35, thus making it one of the most densely covered regions globally. Most commonly, proxies in the Aegean have been interpreted to reflect changes in various aspects of the hydroclimate: lake water balance, effective moisture, and precipitation. The density of data enables spatial analysis of palaeoclimate at a higher resolution to gain a better understanding of Holocene climate evolution over decadal and centennial timescales. The opportunity also arises for more local comparisons with archaeological data; however, obtaining more records also increases complexity, especially for non-experts. The data comes from a range of different archive types and proxies that each come with their own specific uncertainties and weaknesses. A synthesis of palaeoclimate data that includes discussions around data quality, limitations, coverage, and utility is therefore needed to improve and simplify projects examining past human-environment-climate interactions. This will lead to a stronger base for conversations around the role of climate change in the formation, development, and longevity of ancient societies, which contributes to discussions of resilience against future climate change. In this project, we have collated all available Holocene palaeoclimate data from the Aegean region into standardized centurial and decadal (where they are appropriately high resolution) bins, thus enabling direct comparison through numerical and spatial analyses. A complex picture emerges of heterogenous climatic conditions that vary through space and across time.