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University of Technology of Compiègne, France

Ibouhouten H.,Moulay Ismai University | Ibouhouten H.,University dOsnabrilck | Zielhofer C.,Departement de Geographie | Zielhofer C.,University dOsnabrilck | And 13 more authors.
Geomorphologie: Relief, Processus, Environnement | Year: 2010

The Lower Moulouya Basin in northeast Morocco is characterised by Mediterranean arid to semiarid environmental conditions of a North African desert margin. In geomorphological research, desert margins reveal a high potential for palaeoenvironmental studies, as they react very sensitive to past and future climatic changes. The alluvial deposits of the Lower Moulouya can be divided in three sedimentation series: the Series I is dated between 9.9 and 65 ka cal. BP and shows silty to sandy layers with hydromorphic features and intercalated initial alluvial soils. The Series II is dated between 4.2 and 3.2 ka cal. BP and indicates clayey to silty fine laminae with hydromorphic features and an onset of charcoal-rich layers. The Series III is dated between 3.2 and 1.4 ka cal. BP and features clayey to silty fine laminae with greyish to reddish colouring. Series III reveals charcoal-rich layers and gypsum crystals in clay-rich reddish sediments. The dating of the archaeological findings (silex, ceramics, bones) of the buried open air sites indicate an human occupation at the Lower Moulouya during the Epipalaeolithics, Neolithics, Protohistoric and Middle Ages. The phases correspond chronologically with already known archaeological archives from eastern Rif rock-shelters and caves. The maximum of archaeological findings at the Lower Moulouya corresponds to the Early Neolithics, a period which comes along with the Mid-Holocene climatic optimum.

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