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Mid- to late-Holocene archaeology, environment and climate in the northeast Kurdistan region of Iraq

Marsh, A; Fleitmann, D; Al-Manmi, DAM; Altaweel, M; Wengrow, D; Carter, R; (2018) Mid- to late-Holocene archaeology, environment and climate in the northeast Kurdistan region of Iraq. The Holocene , 28 (6) pp. 955-967. 10.1177/0959683617752843. Green open access

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Abstract

This work presents new data from phytolith and speleothem analyses that cover the middle to late Holocene from northeastern Iraq in the Kurdistan region. Coupling these data with previous work, we demonstrate how the region’s environment and climate developed during a time when agriculture became not only established but settlements started to transform into larger urban areas. Results demonstrate a wetter phase during the middle Holocene relative to the present period; a highly seasonal climate with one rainy season is also suggested between 8025 ± 38 and 6977 ± 219 BP. Phytoliths not only suggest a relatively wet environment but they also indicate a diversity of plants used for settlement activity. Sedimentary results complement the indication of a relatively wetter middle Holocene. Archaeologically, terraced construction found in Gurga Chiya and the presence of drought tolerant crops suggest adaptation to stronger, seasonal rains and seasonal droughts in the middle Holocene. Sedimentary, phytolith, and speleothem results suggest relatively drier late-Holocene conditions, although the region continued to be conducive for rainfed agriculture.

Type: Article
Title: Mid- to late-Holocene archaeology, environment and climate in the northeast Kurdistan region of Iraq
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0959683617752843
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1177/0959683617752843
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2018. This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Climate, environment, Iraq, Kurdistan, late Holocene, middle Holocene, phytoliths, sediments, speleothems
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > VP International
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > VP International > UCL - Qatar
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10042042
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