Human induced landscape changes around Bafa Gölü (western Turkey)
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A palynological and sedimentological investigation of two lake sediment cores retrieved from Bafa Gölü (western Turkey) was carried out as a contribution to the environmental history of the lower Büyük Menderes river valley during the later Holocene. Woods of mainly deciduous oak represent the climax vegetation around Bafa Gölü. Human impact on the ecosystem, starting at the latest during the so-called “Beyşehir occupation phase” in the late second millennium b.c., resulted in the transition to open woodland and maquis scrub. Local settlement phases such as woodland clearance and associated erosion/accumulation features can be detected by pollen as well as sedimentological analyses. The strongest human impact can be detected at the time of the Greek period in the seventh to first century b.c. and especially during the Roman period in the first century b.c. until the fourth century a.d., when sedimentation was 5–6 times greater than in the periods before and after.