Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination
GEOREF RECORD

Piraeus, the ancient island of Athens; evidence from Holocene sediments and historical archives

Jean-Philippe Goiran, Kosmas P. Pavlopoulos, Eric Fouache, Maria Triantaphyllou and Roland Etienne
Piraeus, the ancient island of Athens; evidence from Holocene sediments and historical archives
Geology (Boulder) (June 2011) 39 (6): 531-534

Abstract

The famous Greek geographer Strabo wrote in the first century A.D., that Piraeus was formerly an island and lay "over against" the mainland, from which it got its name. To validate Strabo's hypothesis, cartographic and historical data were compiled with multiproxy paleoenvironmental analyses and radiocarbon dating from a series of boreholes drilled in the Cephissus coastal plain, southwest of Athens, Greece. The results of this interdisciplinary geoarchaeological research demonstrate the reliability of Strabo's text by revealing that Piraeus was indeed an island. In early Holocene time, the rocky hill of Piraeus was linked to the mainland of Attica. During the late to final Neolithic Period (4850-3450 B.C.), Piraeus became an island in a shallow marine bay, due to sea-level rise in the Holocene. Between 2850 and 1550 B.C., in the Early and Middle Bronze Age, Piraeus was separated from the mainland by a wide lagoon. In the fifth century B.C., Themistocles, Cimon, and then Pericles connected Athens to Piraeus by building two "long walls" partly built on a residual coastal marsh called the Halipedon. This study reveals an impressive example of past landscape evolution.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 39
Serial Issue: 6
Title: Piraeus, the ancient island of Athens; evidence from Holocene sediments and historical archives
Affiliation: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Lyons, France
Pages: 531-534
Published: 201106
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 31
Accession Number: 2011-054009
Categories: Quaternary geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2011172
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch map
N38°00'00" - N38°00'00", E23°43'60" - E23°43'60"
Secondary Affiliation: Universite de Paris Ouest Nanterre la Defense, FRA, FranceUniversity of Athens, GRC, GreeceUniversite de Paris I-Pantheon Sorbonne, FRA, France
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201130
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal