Eurasian Soil Science

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 373–386 | Cite as

Anthropogenic sediments and soils of tells of the Balkans and Anatolia: Composition, genesis, and relationships with the history of landscape and human occupation

  • S. N. Sedov
  • A. L. AleksandrovskiiEmail author
  • M. Benz
  • V. I. Balabina
  • T. N. Mishina
  • V. A. Shishkov
  • F. Şahin
  • V. Özkaya
Genesis and Geography of Soils


Soils and sediments composing Tell Körtik Tepe (Epipaleolithic, Turkey) and Tell Yunatsite (Chalcolithic (Eneolithic), Bulgaria) have been studied with the aim to gain a better insight into their microfabrics, determine the composition of anthropogenic artifacts, and, on this basis, to analyze similarities and distinctions between these objects and the modern soils of urban areas. The methods of micromorphology, scanning electron microscopy with an energy dispersive X-ray microanalyzer, X-ray fluorometry, and other techniques to determine the chemical and physical properties of the soils and sediments have been applied. Two paleosols have been identified in Tell Yunatsite with a total thickness of 9 m: the paleosol buried under the tell and the paleosol in its middle part. Sediments of Tell Körtik Tepe have a total thickness of up to 5 m; their accumulation began at the end of Pleistocene over the surface of buried paleosol. The cultural layer of the tells consists of construction debris mainly represented by a mixture of clay and sand and of domestic wastes with the high content of phosphorus. The major source of phosphorus is calcium phosphate (apatite) of bone tissues. The abundance of various anthropogenic materials in the sediments is clearly seen in thin sections. Even in the paleosols developed within the cultural layer (the mid-profile paleosol in Tell Yunatsite), the amount of microinclusions of bone fragments, charcoal, and burnt clay (ceramics) is very high. Micromorphological data indicate that up to 50% of the layered material filling an Epipaleolithic construction in Tell Körtik Tepe consists of the anthropogenic inclusions: bone fragments, charcoal, etc. The features of pedogenic transformation are present in the sediments. Such sediments can be classified as synlithogenic soils similar to the modern Urbic Technosols. It is shown that the formation of paleosols and sediments of Tell Körtik Tepe took place under extreme environmental conditions—arid climate of the latest Pleistocene climate cooling phase (the Younger Dryas, Tell Körtik Tepe)—and intensive anthropogenic loads (tells Körtik Tepe and Yunatsite).


urban sediments urban soils urbanozems Urbic Technosols soils of extreme anthropogenic sites buried soils pedolithogenesis 


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. N. Sedov
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • A. L. Aleksandrovskii
    • 4
    Email author
  • M. Benz
    • 5
  • V. I. Balabina
    • 6
  • T. N. Mishina
    • 6
  • V. A. Shishkov
    • 4
  • F. Şahin
    • 7
  • V. Özkaya
    • 7
  1. 1.Institute of GeologyNational Autonomous University of Mexico, Ciudad UniversitariaMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.Tyumen Industrial UniversityTyumenRussia
  3. 3.Tyumen State UniversityTyumenRussia
  4. 4.Institute of GeographyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  5. 5.Department of Near Eastern ArchaeologyAlbert Ludwig UniversityFreiburgGermany
  6. 6.Institute of ArchaeologyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  7. 7.Dicle UniversityDiyarbakırTurkey

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