Abstract

The 10.5 m deep “D-Dor” core was taken at Dor (Tantura Lagoon), on the Carmel coastal plain, Israel. The established chrono-stratigraphic sequence (based on x-ray radiographs, and both luminescence and radiocarbon dating) covers the last about 26,000 years. It provides the paleoenvironmental framework for the transition from hunter–gathering to agriculture in the Levant. Three clay units were identified, overlying kurkar (calcareous sandstone) and covered by 6.3 m of sand. The bottom clay unit is a paleosol. Pollen was not preserved in this unit. Gray clay (the top of which was dated to about 12,000 cal. YBP) was deposited, overlying the paleosol, in a wetland environment. Pollen was preserved only in the upper part of this unit. It indicates a slightly drier climate than today’s, probably correlative with the Younger Dryas. At the beginning of the Holocene, between 10,300 and 9,550 cal. YBP, a new marsh originated, depositing dark clay. High concentrations of well-preserved pollen allowed the reconstruction of several fluctuations in humidity. When the marsh was first formed, precipitation was higher than today, and oak maquis was more extensive in the area. The date of the earliest submerged Pre-Pottery Neolithic settlement embedded in its upper part indicates that the marsh dried out no later than 9,400–8,550 cal. YBP. Around 5,000 years ago, long after the Early Holocene marsh had dried up, sand began to accumulate in the region as a consequence of the Holocene sea level rise, covering several submerged Neolithic settlements off the Carmel coast.

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