Alluvial fan sequence near Mochlos, Crete. Wave-cut scarps and fallen sediment blocks are visible in the foreground. View to the west. To reach Europe, archaic hominins followed multiple pathways, including a terrestrial route through south-west Asia Carbonell et al.
But did archaic hominins use boats to cross the open sea with islands as possible way points Simmons The as-yet-undated fan sequence extends 4km along the coast east of the modern village of Mochlos and reaches c. It was created during the Quaternary by large magnitude episodic sedimentation events within local watersheds through extensive erosion of upland mountain hinterlands to the south that produced vast volumes of boulders, cobbles and coarse-grained sediments, paving valley floors and accumulating in alluvial fans.
These probably climate-forced, high-volume flows are interrupted periodically by extensive overbank deposits of finer-grained clastic sediments, formed perhaps during periods of climate stability.
Fan development may have occurred during climate pulses, with intervening periods of stability that allowed vegetation growth and soil development. The fans graded out at times of glacial sea-level lowstands to a now-submerged shoreline several kilometres offshore.
Today they terminate at the shoreline where steep scarps are being created by wave action. Two fans dominate the sequence. Mavroseli is the largest drainage watershed and the principal contributor to the fan sequence, augmented by a smaller fan in the Loutres drainage area.
Cut bank at Mavroseli, c.
Click to enlarge Figure 3. Biface in situ in the Mavroseli cut bank. Broken distal end to right.
The artefact tip is broken away. The Mavroseli fan is 2km east of Mochlos and is primarily depositional. In a stratigraphic section c. The artefacts, —mm in length, were fashioned from milky vein quartz by direct hard hammer percussion and were the only quartz clasts in the section. Their angular shapes suggest minimal transport before deposition. The fan at Loutres, 1km east of Mochlos, has a stratigraphic section c. At its base is a palaeochannel filled with cemented conglomerate.
Above the palaeochannel is a Bt horizon of a palaeosol c.
This palaeosol indicates a period of fan stability that permitted pedogenesis. Rhizolith fossils penetrating the palaeosol preserve root moulds of surface vegetation.
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This palaeosol exhibits a level of pedogenic maturity similar to palaeosols on the south-western coast of Crete at Plakias, which have been dated by OSL and pedogenic maturity to c. A stream subsequently incised this palaeosol, and in turn was filled with cobbles and boulders forming an overbank deposit, c.
Above the overbank deposit another palaeosol c. Flake beside mm scale in lower palaeosol Bt horizon at Loutres, Crete.
Click to enlarge Figure 6. Biface above and preferential flake core below from lag deposit at Loutres. This research was supported by the Institute for Aegean Prehistory and was a consequence of geological research permitted by the Institute for Geological and Mining Research in Athens.
Palaeolithic research at Mochlos, Crete: Acknowledgements This research was supported by the Institute for Aegean Prehistory and was a consequence of geological research permitted by the Institute for Geological and Mining Research in Athens. The making of the Middle Sea.
Journal of Anthropological Research The early Pleistocene human dispersals in the circum-Mediterranean basin and initial peopling of Europe: Early Palaeolithic on the Greek islands? Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology Paleolithic seafaring in the Mediterranean. Stone age seafaring in the Mediterranean: Dating Palaeolithic sites in southwestern Crete, Greece.
Journal of Quaternary Science The Middle Pleistocene archaeological record of Greece and the role of the Aegean in hominin dispersals: Quaternary Science Reviews Article details First published in: IssueVolume Other Project Gallery articles from this issue: Unusual funeral practices and violence in Early Neolithic Central Europe: Archaeological and volcanological investigation at Stromboli, Aeolian Islands, Italy.
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