Increased sedimentation following the Neolithic Revolution in the Southern Levant

Increased sedimentation following the Neolithic Revolution in the Southern Levant

By: Lu Y., Waldmann N., Nadel D., Marco S.
Published in: Global and Planetary Change
SDGs : SDG 13  |  Units: Marine Sciences  | Time: 2017 |  Link
Description: The Dead Sea drainage basin offers a rare combination of well-documented substantial climate change, intense tectonics a nd abundant archaeological evidence for past human activity in the Southern Levant. It serves as a natural laboratory for understanding how sedimentation rates in a deep basin are related to climate change, tectonics, and anthropogenic impacts on the landscape. Here we show how basin-wide erosion rates are recorded by thicknesses of rhythmic detritus laminae and clastic sediment accumulation rates in a long core retrieved by the Dead Sea Deep Drilling Project in the Dead Sea depocenter. During the last ~ 11.5 kyr the average detrital accumulation rate is ~ 3‐4 times that during the last two glacial cycles (MIS 7c-2), and the average thickness of detritus laminae in the last ~ 11.6 kyr is ~ 4.5 times that between ~ 21.7 and 11.6 ka, implying an increased erosion rate on the surrounding slopes during the Holocene. We estimate that this intensified erosion is incompatible with tectonic and climatic regimes during the corresponding time interval and further propose a close association with the Neolithic Revolution in the Levant (beginning at ~ 11.5 ka). We thus suggest that human impact on the landscape was the primary driver causing the intensified erosion and that the Dead Sea sedimentary record serves as a reliable recorder of this impact since the Neolithic Revolution. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

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