Archeological and biological relative sea-level indicators

Christophe Morhange, Nick Marriner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The great antiquity of human occupation in the Mediterranean has left rich archeological evidence along its coastlines, including harbors and fish tanks. This chapter emphasizes the use of fixed bioindicators in archeological contexts to further the precision of relative sea-level (RSL) variations and trends during the mid-late Holocene. The use of RSL archeological indicators is at the origin of two main uncertainties that can bias the precision of sea-level index points. Establishing the functional heights of archeological indicators is key to estimating local sea-level change. This parameter is defined as the elevation of specific architectural parts of an archeological structure with respect to an estimated mean sea level at the time of its construction by comparison to present contexts. Many archeological structures are poorly preserved due to tidal wave action and subtidal bioerosion. The chapter describes some examples of archeological features, including fish tanks and harbor structures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Sea-Level Research
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781118452547
ISBN (Print)9781118452585
StatePublished - 20 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Archeological relative sea-level indicators
  • Biological relative sea-level indicators
  • Fish tanks
  • Harbor structures
  • Mediterranean sea-level changes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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