Rapid Delta Growth in Historical Times at Ephesus and Miletus—The Examples of the Küçük and the Büyük Menderes Rivers

  • Helmut BrücknerEmail author
Part of the World Geomorphological Landscapes book series (WGLC)


Postglacial sea-level rise led to the development of extended marine gulfs in the grabens of the western margin of the Anatolian Plate. During the last seven millennia, these marine indentations have silted up due to the continued progradation of the deltas of major rivers. Good examples of this geomorphological metamorphosis from ria coasts to delta–floodplains are the Küçük Menderes (Cayster, Kaystros) and the Büyük Menderes (Maiandros, Maeander) valleys, with Ephesos and Miletos, respectively, as the most prominent ancient cities. This article outlines the spatio-temporal scenarios of these fundamental landscape changes. They are based on geoarchaeological criteria, archaeological evidence and information from literary sources.


Geoarchaeology Postglacial transgression Delta progradation Landscape changes Cayster River Maeander River Ephesus Miletus Siltation of harbours 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Geography, University of CologneCologne (Köln)Germany

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