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Geophysical mapping of submerged shorelines and anchorage sites at a Mycenaean (Late Bronze) harbour site, Korphos, Greece

Author(s): Joseph Boyce ; Peter Dao ; Despina Koutsoumba ; Richard Rothaus ; Eduard Reinhardt

Year: 2014

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Summary

A detailed underwater geophysical and geomorphic survey was conducted at Kalamianos, a recently discovered Mycenaean harbour located near Korphos, Greece. Bathymetry and magnetic gradiometer data (> 400-line km) were acquired across a 10-km2 inshore area to map the Bronze Age shoreline positions and to identify potential anchorage sites. Beachrock elevations, 14C chronology and micropaleontologic data were integrated with bathymetry data to construct a RSL curve and paleoshoreline maps. During the Early Helladic (3100-2150 BC) occupation of the site, the mainland was connected to a small island by a narrow isthmus with a well-sheltered harbor basin in its lee. During the subsequent Mycenaean phase (1300-1190 BC), sea level rose by about 1.5 m, submerging the promontory. Mycenaean shipping activity is recorded by abundant Late Helladic pottery and wood charcoal fragments (AMS 14C age 1640-1400 cal BC) in beachrock and ballast mounds identified by magnetic surveys. No evidence was found for a constructed harbor at Kalamianos but the natural embayments afforded by coastal headlands would have provided well-protected anchorages under varying wind and wave conditions.


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Geophysical mapping of submerged shorelines and anchorage sites at a Mycenaean (Late Bronze) harbour site, Korphos, Greece. Joseph Boyce, Peter Dao, Despina Koutsoumba, Richard Rothaus, Eduard Reinhardt. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436546)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-1,03

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America