Dynamiques géomorphologiques et typologie géoarcheologique des ports antiques en contextes lagunaires

Translated title of the contribution: Geomorphology and geoarchaeological typology of ancient harbours in lagoonal contexts

Christophe Morhange, Nick Marriner, Alexandre Baralis, Maria Luisa Blot, Guénaëlle Bony, Nicolas Carayon, Pilar Carmona, Clément Flaux, Matthieu Giaime, Jean Philippe Goiran, Mourad Kouka, Anna Lena, Ameur Oueslati, Marinella Pasquinucci, Alexeï Porotov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In coastal areas, under a context of relative sea-level stability during the past 6,000 years, one important question relates to the impact of environmental conditions on human settlements around lagoons. Historiography has developed a number of deterministic models but how do these fair in the light of recent palaeo-environmental data? What was the impact of these occupations on the evolution of the coastline? How did ancient societies use and overcome, or not, the environmental potentialities and specific constraints linked to the occupation of lagoonal environments, including accessibility, navigation conditions, sediment infilling and the draught depth. Here we present a number of multidisciplinary case study examples of lagoonal harbours. We attempt to estimate the weight of natural forcing agents on the different harbour sites and underline the important roles of coastline changes and the sedimentary infilling of the lagoons at different spatial scales. These processes impacted upon the infrastructure and the viability of the lagoonal harbours to varying degrees. We present five main types of lagoonal harbour that show the great diversity of these environments, their potentiality and also their constraints: (1) artificially-dug lagoonal harbours, known in the ancient literature as "cothons", (2) infilled lagoonal harbours in deltaic contexts, (3) lagoonal harbours still in water, (4) estuarine harbours and (5) mixed lagoon systems.

Translated title of the contributionGeomorphology and geoarchaeological typology of ancient harbours in lagoonal contexts
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)117-139
Number of pages23
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Ancient harbour
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Geomorphology
  • Lagoon
  • Natural hazard
  • Sediment supply

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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