Possible tsunami inundation identified amongst 4–5thcenturyBCE archaeological deposits at Tel Ashkelon, Israel

Possible tsunami inundation identified amongst 4–5thcenturyBCE archaeological deposits at Tel... The eroding coastal sections of Ashkelon, Israel contain exposed sequences of natural and anthropogenic sedimentological deposits; some of unknown origin. Ashkelon, an important and long-occupied ancient coastal city, is directly referred to within written records of past tsunami events yet field studies and archaeological descriptions have not yet corroborated these claims. This is not unusual, nor unexpected, given the amount of anthropogenic and natural disturbance that can erase the sedimentary remains, as well as the relatively recent advancements in identifying such deposits. A sequence of sediments at the base of an eroding coastal archaeological section shows clear waterborne transport characteristics and was previously interpreted as alluvial; however, no alluvial sources could be associated to the deposit. In this study, the sedimentological characteristics of this section were described and analyzed in greater detail to determine their nearest similarity to possible transport mechanism such as storms, rivers, and tsunamis. The deposits contain fining-upward sequences, rip-up clasts, imbricated inclusions, fine mud layers, microfauna (foraminifera), and broken diagnostic pottery from the 4–5th c. BC Reconstructions of the coastline at the time of the event place the sampled profile at least 100m inland from the shoreline, at an elevation +2.0 to 2.4m above sea level. River-channel features were not identified in the section. For this area, modern observations of major storms show inundations of <75m which are not coupled with depositional deposits (erosional only), suggesting that these deposits are not storm-related. Rather, it is possible that the deposits support the arrival of an undocumented tsunami at Ashkelon some time following the 4–5thcenturyBCE. These results reinforce the importance of the reassessment of many coastal sedimentological studies in light of improved capabilities of recognizing possible tsunamigenic sediments, as well as increased field efforts for the purpose of producing more complete tsunami catalogues; and also highlights the need to better record and document eroding coastlines that may contain valuable information regarding both anthropogenic and natural history. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Marine Geology Elsevier

Possible tsunami inundation identified amongst 4–5thcenturyBCE archaeological deposits at Tel Ashkelon, Israel

Loading next page...
 
/lp/elsevier/possible-tsunami-inundation-identified-amongst-4-5thcenturybce-ubKvFe6qQw
Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V.
ISSN
0025-3227
eISSN
1872-6151
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.margeo.2017.10.009
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The eroding coastal sections of Ashkelon, Israel contain exposed sequences of natural and anthropogenic sedimentological deposits; some of unknown origin. Ashkelon, an important and long-occupied ancient coastal city, is directly referred to within written records of past tsunami events yet field studies and archaeological descriptions have not yet corroborated these claims. This is not unusual, nor unexpected, given the amount of anthropogenic and natural disturbance that can erase the sedimentary remains, as well as the relatively recent advancements in identifying such deposits. A sequence of sediments at the base of an eroding coastal archaeological section shows clear waterborne transport characteristics and was previously interpreted as alluvial; however, no alluvial sources could be associated to the deposit. In this study, the sedimentological characteristics of this section were described and analyzed in greater detail to determine their nearest similarity to possible transport mechanism such as storms, rivers, and tsunamis. The deposits contain fining-upward sequences, rip-up clasts, imbricated inclusions, fine mud layers, microfauna (foraminifera), and broken diagnostic pottery from the 4–5th c. BC Reconstructions of the coastline at the time of the event place the sampled profile at least 100m inland from the shoreline, at an elevation +2.0 to 2.4m above sea level. River-channel features were not identified in the section. For this area, modern observations of major storms show inundations of <75m which are not coupled with depositional deposits (erosional only), suggesting that these deposits are not storm-related. Rather, it is possible that the deposits support the arrival of an undocumented tsunami at Ashkelon some time following the 4–5thcenturyBCE. These results reinforce the importance of the reassessment of many coastal sedimentological studies in light of improved capabilities of recognizing possible tsunamigenic sediments, as well as increased field efforts for the purpose of producing more complete tsunami catalogues; and also highlights the need to better record and document eroding coastlines that may contain valuable information regarding both anthropogenic and natural history.

Journal

Marine GeologyElsevier

Published: Feb 1, 2018

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off