Coastal palaeoenvironmental record of Late Bronze to Iron Age harbour development at Liman Tepe-Clazomenae, western Anatolia, Turkey

Nicholas L. Riddick, Joseph I. Boyce, Vasıf Şahoğlu, Hayat Erkanal, İrfan Tuğcu, Yeşim Alkan, Eduard G. Reinhardt, Beverly N. Goodman-Tchernov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Liman Tepe-Clazomenae, located in the southern Bay of Izmir, Turkey, was an important Early Bronze Age to Classical Period trading port and cultural centre in the eastern Aegean. The mainland harbour, now submerged ~1.5–2 m below present sea level, is one of the best-preserved examples of an Iron Age (Archaic Period; ca. 7th–6th c. BCE) semi-enclosed harbour (>5 ha) with engineered breakwater structures. A multi-proxy study (micropalaeontology, micro-XRF core scanning) was conducted on seven harbour sediment cores and integrated with geophysical data to map the harbour structures and document coastal palaeoenvironmental changes. Bathymetry and side-scan mapping revealed two broad (>35 m) rubble-constructed breakwater structures and a submerged headland that divided the harbour into two separate sub-basins. Linear magnetic anomalies within the eastern breakwater indicate a buried pier structure, recording possible augmentation of a Late Bronze Age (LBA) or Early Iron Age (EIA) proto-harbour embayment. The harbour basin stratigraphy comprises foreshore and upper shoreface deposits overlying terrigenous clays across a marine transgressive surface. A distinctive silt-rich chemofacies with increased Ti/Ca and decreased Si marks a transition from a sandy marine shoreface to a low energy, sheltered LBA proto-harbour embayment. The Iron Age harbour construction (ca. 7th–6th c. BCE) is recorded by a rise in Rosalina, decreased Ti/Ca and the appearance of Archaic pottery. The harbour was in use from the Archaic to early Classical periods and served as Clazomenae's mainland commercial port.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106842
JournalMarine Geology
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • Archaic harbour
  • Geophysical surveys
  • Late Bronze-early Iron Age transition
  • Liman Tepe-Clazomenae
  • Lithochemofacies
  • Palaeoenvironments
  • Proto-harbour
  • micro-XRF core scanning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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