A common belief is that, unlike today, ancient urban areas developed in a sustainable way within the environmental limits of local natural resources and the ecosystem's capacity to respond. This long-held paradigm is based on a weak knowledge of the processes underpinning the emergence of urban life and the rise of an urban-adapted environment in and beyond city boundaries. Here, we report a 6000-year record of environmental changes around the port city of Akko (Acre), Israel, to analyse ecological processes and patterns stemming from the emergence and growth of urban life. We show that early urban development deeply transformed pre-existing ecosystems, swiftly leading to an urban environment already governed by its own ecological rules and this, since the emergence of the cities.
|State||Published - 18 Dec 2013|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Support was provided by the Institut Universitaire de France, CLIMSORIENT and Geoarchaeology of ancient Black Sea harbours programs, the Université Paul Sabatier, the Mistrals-ENVIMED-GEOISRAEL program, and by the Hatter Laboratory, Recananti Institute for Maritime Studies, University of Haifa. This work is also a contribution to the Labex OT-Med (ANR-11-LABEX-0061) funded by the =Investissements d’Avenir?, French Government program of the French National Research Agency (ANR) through the A*Midex project (ANR-11-IDEX-0001-02).
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