An Under-Recognised Geoarchaeological Heritage Asset in Turkey: Dana Island, Mersin


GEOHERITAGE, vol.13, no.4, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12371-021-00618-z
  • Journal Name: GEOHERITAGE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Geobase
  • Keywords: Geoarchaeological heritage, Eolianite, Shipyard, Dana Island, Rough Cilicia, Turkey, BLACK-SEA COAST, GEOLOGICAL HERITAGE, NORTHWESTERN COAST, GEOHERITAGE, EOLIANITE, LUMINESCENCE, DEPOSITS, PALEOSOL
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: Yes


Carbonate eolianites on Turkey's 8333-km long coastline are extremely rare occurrences. Following pioneering studies at Bozcaada Island and Sile on the Aegean and Black Sea coasts, respectively, a new eolian geosite was recently found on Dana Island, an archaeological conservation area on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. The eolianite, which was probably formed in a warm interglacial phase during Late Quaternary, is biogenic calcarenite in composition and contains a thick paleosol and well-preserved rhizoliths as root cast structures. As well as being a geological inheritance, the fact that eolianites are interbedded with very rare hard carbonate-cemented slope debris (colluvium) and both units are home to possibly the largest rock-cut ancient shipyard in the Eastern Mediterranean makes the island a unique geoarchaeological example with immense potential. These geological and archaeological heritage elements on Dana Island are sufficient evidence to identify the eolianites as a geoarchaeological heritage.