Lake Maryut (northwestern Nile Delta, Egypt) was a key feature of Alexandria's hinterland and economy during Greco-Roman times. Its shores accommodated major economic centers, and the lake acted as a gateway between the Nile valley and the Mediterranean. It is suggested that lake-level changes, connections with the Nile and the sea, and possible high-energy events considerably shaped the human occupation history of the Maryut. To reconstruct Lake Maryut hydrology in historical times, we used faunal remains, geochemistry (Sr isotopic signature of ostracods) and geoarcheological indicators of relative lake-level changes. The data show both a rise in Nile inputs to the basin during the first millennia BCE and CE and a lake-level rise of ca. 1.5 m during the Roman period. A high-energy deposit, inferred from reworked radiocarbon dates, may explain an enigmatic sedimentary hiatus previously attested to in Maryut's chronostratigraphy.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||E and G Quaternary Science Journal|
|State||Published - 8 Apr 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research has been supported by the ANR (France) (grant no. ANR-12-SENV-0008-03), the Investissement d'Avenir (France) (grant no. EQUIPEX ASTER-CEREGE), and the Durham Junior Research Fellowship (grant no. 609412).
We thank Hélène Mariot for taking care of CEREGE's clean lab. Matthieu Giaime acknowledges the support of the Institute of Advanced Studies and the Department of Geography at Durham University. We thank two anonymous referees for constructive comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. We thank Martin Seeliger for kindly translating the abstract into German.
© 2021 Clément Flaux et al.
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