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Agricultural terraces in the Mediterranean: intensive construction during the later Middle Ages revealed by landscape analysis with OSL profiling and dating

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Sam Turner, Dr Gunder Varinlioglu, Elif Koparal, Dr Volkan Demirciler, Professor Mark Jackson, Dr Francesco CarrerORCiD, Alex Turner



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The history of agricultural terraces remains poorly understood, largely due to problems in dating their construction and use. This has hampered broader research on their significance, limiting knowledge of past agricultural practices and the long-term investment choices made by rural communities. OSL-PD has been applied to the sediments associated with agricultural terraces and earthworks in the Mediterranean region to date construction and use. Results from five widely-dispersed areas in Spain, Greece and Turkey reveal that although many terraces were used in the first millennium AD, the most intensive episodes of terrace building occurred during the later Middle Ages (c. AD 1100-1600).

Publication metadata

Author(s): Turner S, Kinnaird T, Varinlioglu G, Serifoglu TE, Koparal E, Demirciler V, Athanasoulis D, Odegard K, Crow J, Jackson M, Bolos J, Sanchez-Pardo JC, Carrer F, Turner A, Sanderson D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Antiquity

Year: 2021

Volume: 95

Issue: 381

Pages: 773-790

Online publication date: 22/04/2021

Acceptance date: 18/08/2020

Date deposited: 05/08/2020

ISSN (print): 0003-598X

ISSN (electronic): 1745-1744

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2020.187


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Funder referenceFunder name
AF140007British Academy
AF160103British Academy
2016 PG-065
AH/P014453/1Arts & Humanities Research Council-AHRC (formerly AHRB)
H2020 657050
Seven Pillars of Wisdom Trust