Special Issue "Diachronic Landscape Researches. Examples from the Bakırçay River Catchment (West Turkey)"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Daniel Knitter
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Germany
Interests: geography; landscape archaeology; geomorphology; philosophy of science; reproducible research
Prof. Dr. Brigitta Schütt
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Earth Sciences, Freie Universitat Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Interests: integrated watershed management; traditional/local water management; soil erosion; palaeohydrology
Dr. Beycan Hocaoğlu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography, İzmir Katip Çelebi Üniversitesi, Turkey
Interests: historical geography; urban geography; political geography
Dr. Murat Tozan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Ancient History, Ege University, Turkey
Interests: historical geography of Western Asia Minor; ancient medicine; Asia Minor under the Roman Republic; the Hellenistic Kingdoms (esp. the Attalids)

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The landscape of an area is the result of a long-lasting, continuous process of ecosocial relations. Individual practices, societal structures, cultural norms, and environmental characteristics are the building blocks for the specificity and uniqueness of a landscape.

In this Special Issue, we want to trace the importance and integration of these elements that shape the distinct character of an area by collecting contributions that investigate human–environment relations from a diachronic perspective. Our focus is (a) on the landscape of the environs of Bergama, the modern successor of the ancient city of Pergamon, in Western Turkey and (b) on the catchment of the Bakırçay river (ancient Kaikos). Literature reviews will cover topics of Holocene environmental dynamics and sociocultural development from the prehistory until today. Empirical studies on selected environmental and societal aspects, ranging from pollen analyses to socioeconomic modeling and historical geography, will yield insights to specific local dynamics. More theoretical contributions will focus on the dynamics and functioning of societal transformation processes, ranging from prehistory to the pre-modern era, and the pattern of their societal metabolism.

Dr. Daniel Knitter
Prof. Brigitta Schütt
Dr. Beycan Hocaoğlu
Dr. Murat Tozan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Pergamon
  • rural economy
  • Holocene landscape development
  • GIS
  • geography
  • geomorphology
  • landscape archaeology
  • societal metabolism
  • Kaikos/Bakırçay river
  • Western Asia Minor

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
An Overview of the Geomorphological Characteristics of the Pergamon Micro-Region (Bakırçay and Madra River Catchments, Aegean Region, West Turkey)
Land 2021, 10(7), 667; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10070667 - 24 Jun 2021
Viewed by 451
Abstract
Current landforms are the basis for understanding past geomorphodynamics and human activities. Based on multiple materials and methods, including geomorphometric analyses of a digital elevation model and visual interpretations of satellite images, different landscape units of the Bakırçay and Madra River catchments in [...] Read more.
Current landforms are the basis for understanding past geomorphodynamics and human activities. Based on multiple materials and methods, including geomorphometric analyses of a digital elevation model and visual interpretations of satellite images, different landscape units of the Bakırçay and Madra River catchments in the environs of ancient Pergamon are described. The area was mainly shaped by tectonics that formed a horst-and-graben structure; small Miocene horsts and NE-trending subgrabens in the Kozak and Yunt Dağı Mountains were separated by the NEE-trending Plio-Pleistocene Bergama Graben. The asymmetry in relief, drainage network, and sediment accumulation between the Kozak Mountains to the north and the Yunt Dağı Mountains to the south of the lower Bakırçay plain characterize the Pergamon Micro-Region. The regional relief characteristics, with wide flat basin and plateau areas, are suitable for agriculture. Complemented by its richness in natural resources, the Pergamon Micro-Region became a preferred settlement area, with evidence of human impact since the Hellenistic–Roman period at the latest. As a consequence of settlement activities, several landscape engineering measures were implemented simultaneously with a parallel change in morphodynamics. Full article
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Article
How Much Is Enough? First Steps to a Social Ecology of the Pergamon Microregion
Land 2021, 10(5), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10050479 - 03 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 598
Abstract
In this study, we present a transparent and reproducible approach to model agricultural production with respect to environmental characteristics and available labour. Our research focuses on the city of Pergamon and its surroundings, with an emphasis on the transition between the Hellenistic and [...] Read more.
In this study, we present a transparent and reproducible approach to model agricultural production with respect to environmental characteristics and available labour. Our research focuses on the city of Pergamon and its surroundings, with an emphasis on the transition between the Hellenistic and Roman Imperial Period, where widespread demographic changes took place. We investigated the degree of local self-sufficiency using different concepts of a city’s complementary region. Using simple topographic derivatives, we derive a measure of environmental suitability that we translate into a carrying capacity index. Our results show that workforce was not a limiting factor for local self-sufficiency. However, environmental carrying capacity may have been limiting in a scenario with a large population. An active investment into the environment, e.g., by the construction of terraces, could have helped to increase the degree of self-sufficiency. Future research should investigate the level of resilience of such a coupled socio-ecological system in relation to environmental and socio-cultural dynamics. Full article
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Article
Meta-Analysis of Geomorphodynamics in the Western Lower Bakırçay Plain (Aegean Region, Turkey)
Land 2020, 9(9), 338; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9090338 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 808
Abstract
The relation between human activities, climate variability, and geomorphodynamics in the Mediterranean region is widely discussed. For the western lower Bakırçay plain in the ancient Pergamon Micro-Region, geoarchaeological studies have shown changes in geomorphodynamics primarily on a site-basis. We reconstruct past geomorphodynamics in [...] Read more.
The relation between human activities, climate variability, and geomorphodynamics in the Mediterranean region is widely discussed. For the western lower Bakırçay plain in the ancient Pergamon Micro-Region, geoarchaeological studies have shown changes in geomorphodynamics primarily on a site-basis. We reconstruct past geomorphodynamics in the area based on a meta-analysis of 108 14C-ages obtained from 25 sediment sequences mainly from colluvial and alluvial deposits by analyzing cumulative probability functions of the 14C-ages. Accounting for biases in the database, we applied different approaches and compared the empirical probability functions with simulated functions. Reconstructed geomorphodynamics in the western lower Bakırçay plain during the Holocene principally coincide with a trend of climate-driven sensitivity to erosion and population dynamics in the eastern Mediterranean, but are also related to the local settlement history. Our data analysis shows that transformations of the Pergamon Micro-Region between the Hellenistic and Roman Imperial times is contemporary to increasing geomorphodynamics that peak in Roman Imperial times. However, a cause–effect relationship between geomorphodynamics and settlement dynamics should be further evaluated. A comparison with data from other settlement centers in Anatolia shows that a coincidence between the peak in geomorphodynamics and a peak in settlement activity are not obvious and may be influenced by soil conservation measures, preferred settlement location, and inherited soil exhaustion. Full article
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Article
Reconstructing the Ancient Route Network in Pergamon’s Surroundings
Land 2020, 9(8), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9080241 - 23 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1372
Abstract
The surrounding landscape of ancient Pergamon is characterized by several mountain ranges, the Bakırçay Valley and River and the Aegean coastline. The accessibility of this region was vital for the city since it provided food and resources as well as trade, communication and [...] Read more.
The surrounding landscape of ancient Pergamon is characterized by several mountain ranges, the Bakırçay Valley and River and the Aegean coastline. The accessibility of this region was vital for the city since it provided food and resources as well as trade, communication and military movements, all facilitated by a well-developed route network. Despite the importance of roads for the development and prosperity of the city, the ancient route network is still widely unexplored and archeological evidence of roads is extremely rare. This study therefore aims to reconstruct the ancient route network in the surroundings of Pergamon by combining historical and archeological sources with modern computer-aided least-cost path analyses, while also considering changes in the landscape that have occurred since antiquity. Based on these detailed results, conclusions may be drawn about the characteristics and functional diversity of the routes. Although the investigation of the route network in the surroundings of Pergamon cannot be considered complete, the results of this study already offer a valuable basis for further research, analyses, modeling and field work. Full article
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