Agricultural terraces in the Mediterranean: medieval intensification revealed by OSL profiling and dating

Turner S., Kinnaird T., VARİNLİOĞLU G., Scommaerifoglu T. E., KOPARAL E., DEMİRCİLER V., ...More

ANTIQUITY, vol.95, no.381, pp.773-790, 2021 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 95 Issue: 381
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.15184/aqy.2020.187
  • Journal Name: ANTIQUITY
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, FRANCIS, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Periodicals Index Online, L'Année philologique, Anthropological Literature, Art Abstracts, Art Index, Art Source, Artic & Antarctic Regions, ATLA Religion Database, Humanities Abstracts, Index Islamicus, International Bibliography of Art, Linguistic Bibliography, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Religion and Philosophy Collection, DIALNET
  • Page Numbers: pp.773-790
  • Keywords: Mediterranean, landscape archaeology, agricultural terraces, OSL-PD, LANDSCAPE, RESILIENCE, FIELDS, ISLAND, AGE
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


The history of agricultural terraces remains poorly understood 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 of rural communities. The authors apply OSL profiling and dating to the sediments associated with agricultural terraces across the Mediterranean region to date their construction and use. Results from five widely dispersed case studies 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). This innovative approach provides the first large-scale evidence for both the longevity and medieval intensification of Mediterranean terraces.