The Geoarchaeology of Utica, Tunisia: The Paleogeography of the Mejerda Delta and Hypotheses Concerning the Location of the Ancient Harbor

Abstract : Although the ancient site of Utica has been studied since the 19th century, the location of its harbors remains unresolved as they were buried under sediments as the Mejerda delta prograded and left Utica 10 km inland. Using relief data and a coring survey with sedimentological analysis, we identify the dynamics of the delta's progradation, which produced a double system of alluvial fans. These show that the ancient bay of Utica silted up faster and earlier than was thought, probably before the end of the Punic period. Combined with the radiocarbon dates from coring, this suggests that the harbor lay on the northwestern side of the Utica promontory, communicating with the sea by a marine corridor west of the northern compartment of the delta. As the infilling of the ancient bay progressed, this corridor narrowed until it disappeared completely in the early 5th/mid-6th century A.D., when a peat bog developed on the northern side of the promontory, sealing the fate of Utica as a port. This relative environmental stability ended in the 9th–10th century A.D. when about 4 m of sediment, probably of fluvial origin, covered the peat bog, leaving the site more than 4.5 m above the local sea level. C 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Complete list of metadatas

Cited literature [58 references]  Display  Hide  Download

https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01166837
Contributor : Hugo Delile <>
Submitted on : Thursday, June 25, 2015 - 12:13:57 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 4:18:26 PM

Links full text

Identifiers

Citation

Hugo Delile, Abdelhakim Abichou, Ahmed Gadhoum, Jean-Philippe Goiran, Elisa Pleuger, et al.. The Geoarchaeology of Utica, Tunisia: The Paleogeography of the Mejerda Delta and Hypotheses Concerning the Location of the Ancient Harbor. Geoarchaeology: An International Journal, Wiley, 2015, 30 (4), pp.291-306. ⟨10.1002/gea.21514⟩. ⟨halshs-01166837⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

344