Refining Late-Holocene environmental changes of the Akko coastal plain and its impacts on the settlement and anchorage patterns of Tel Akko (Israel)

Matthieu Giaime*, Michal Artzy, Harry Jol, Yossi Salmon, Gloria I. López-Cadavid, Amani abu Hamid

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Akko/Acre, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2001, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the eastern Mediterranean. Tel Akko was a major maritime centre of the southern Levant from the Middle Bronze to the Late Persian period. The city was then moved 1500 m to the west on the Akko promontory where the ‘Old City’ of Saint-Jean d'Acre is located. The natural and anthropogenic evolution of Tel Akko area is reflected by persistent geographical and habitation pattern changes. We combined sedimentological and faunal analyses of radiocarbon dated cores as well as identification of ceramic sherds found in the cores with ground penetrating radar investigations to propose an up-to-date palaeogeographical reconstruction of landscape/environmental changes of the Akko plain in order to understand the extent to which environmental pressures have played a role on the position of anchorage and habitation patterns. We highlight how the local population make use of the natural advantages of the area and adapted to environmental pressures. Following a constant sedimentary input and simultaneous coastal progradation of the Akko coastal plain the main anchorage areas where forced to move. While the 2nd Millennium BC anchorage was on the southern area of the tell, the late-1st Millennium BC (Phoenician-Persian) anchorage was relocated on the western area. Vicissitudes in settlement pattern noted in archaeological excavations and surveys on Tel Akko have, most likely, been the consequence of the changes in the position of the coastline.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine Geology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Ancient anchorages/harbours
  • Paleogeography
  • coastal changes
  • Biostratigraphy
  • GPR
  • Tel Akko

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