Holocene Morphogenesis and Anthropisation of a Semi-Arid Watershed, Gialias River, Cyprus

Benoit Devillers


Interest in studying historical environments expanded quite rapidly parallel to a passion for romantic landscapes in the 19th century and the knowledge of natural resources among the ecologists of the 20th century. From the point of view of geomorphology, this interest has generated a wealth of research on coevolution between relief and human population. Later, with the study of recent sediment deposits in the Mediterranean Basin, the concept of parallel development between the spread of the Oikumene anderosive phenomena has emerged. Since then, numerous and sometimes contradictory studies have highlighted the diversity of the Holocene sedimentation and morphogenic response to human settlement and population growth according to the geographical variety.With the present work, the author contributes to this line of research by studying a semi-arid Mediterranean environment, the island of Cyprus. The work focuses on the Gialias River watershed which extends from the piedmont of the Troodos range to the Eastern Messaoria plains. The goal is to reconstruct the history of the Holocene morphogenesis in connection with the forms and structures of fluvial landscapes. This work is inscribed in a both geomorpholigical and geoarchaeological perspective and adds torecent advances on the evolution of sub-arid and semi-arid environments in the oriental part of the Mediterranean Basin.