This is the official blog of the CYRTACI Expedition (M195) aboard F/S METEOR in Aegean and Ionian waters from 10th November to 2nd December 2023. The port of departure and arrival is the port of Athens, Piraeus, Greece.
Synopsis Cruise M195
Throughout the Holocene, Mediterranean civilizations have closely interacted with their environment, but it is still unclear to what extent climatic and environmental change has influenced their evolution. At the same time, the onset, early extent and consequences of anthropogenic change in terrestrial and notably in marine ecosystems are yet poorly constrained. We will carry out a novel interdisciplinary study of terrestrial and marine ecosystem change during the rise of E Mediterranean civilizations over the course of the Holocene, focusing on intervals with high socioeconomic turnover at ~9000 yrs BP, 8000 yrs BP, ~4200 yrs BP and ~3200 yrs BP. Based on high-deposition-rate marine cores from the Aegean and Ionian Seas, we will decipher environmental change on land via an integrated multi-proxy approach that will yield terrestrial data within a high-quality marine-based age frame. For the marine realm, our analyses will yield the first quantitative assessments of fish populations and reconstructions of the marine food web. Our ‘master records’ of Holocene ecosystem change in the E Mediterranean region will yield critical new insight into the sensitivity vs. resilience of Mediterranean civilizations to environmental change and the vulnerability of marine ecosystems to early anthropogenic impact.