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Luminescence dating and the palaeo-environment in SW Peloponnesus

Principal Researcher: Ioannis Christodoulakis (N.C.S.R. “Demokritos”, Greece)

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Main objective of this project is the reconstruction of the landscape in the wider area of Caves of Diros at SW Peloponnesus. SW Peloponnesus is a challenging area for studying environmental changes which took place during the Upper-Quaternary period, because of its position between three continents, its long coastal zone as well as its local tectonic regimes. In addition, it is an area with great cultural and palaeoanthropological interest. All newly achieved developments on luminescence dating techniques, OSL, TT /’recuperated’ OSL and pertinent variations are going to be employed and upgraded during implementation of the project.

Analytical techniques will be used to determine the concentration of chemical components of the collected samples. Polarising microscopy, XRD phase identification, XRF analysis of major and minor elements by a light/portable system, Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA), SEM/EDS bulk analyses and phase microanalyses and micro-paleontological definitions are the techniques which are indicated to be used according to the requirements. For trace elements detection, Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) analysis will be employed.

The study of stratigraphic sequences in connection with the sedimentation processes and sedimentation rate assessments is expected to render important information for the palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of the ancient landscapes. Significant data are also expected to be acquired by investigating sea-land interactions during the Upper-Quaternary and by the study of the local tectonic regimes. Also, geomorphologic investigation of the wider area is going to provide information in understanding landform history and its dynamic evolution.


Map of Peloponnesus. The area of interest is marked within the ellipse.


A view of the study area