Paleohydrological implications of late Quaternary fluvial deposits in and around archaeological sites in Syria

Takashi Oguchi, Kazuaki Hori, Chiaki T. Oguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The importance of fluvial processes to the development of late Quaternary landforms in arid regions is well established, particularly for the American Southwest. In contrast, much less information exists about past fluvial processes for other arid regions, such as Arabic countries in the Middle East. This paper reviews the characteristics of late Quaternary fluvial deposits and landforms in Syria, an arid country with little previous Quaternary geomorphic research. Relatively detailed information has been obtained from areas adjacent to archaeological sites because of collaborative activities with geomorphologists and other geoscientists. Such activities have resulted in intensive field surveys, and associated results of complementary archaeological studies of lithic artifacts are useful for establishing the chronology of fluvial deposits. Although the number of existing studies is limited, the available information points to marked changes in the mode of fluvial processes in response to late Quaternary climatic change. Fluvial sedimentation was enhanced during the wet periods of MIS 3-4, the Pleistocene-Holocene transition, and the mid-Holocene. In contrast, the LGM was characterized by limited fluvial sedimentation under a drier climate as well as enhanced carbonate precipitation near the land surface to form calcrete and oncoids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-43
Number of pages11
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Oct 1


  • Arid regions
  • Carbonate precipitation
  • Climatic change
  • Fluvial processes
  • Sedimentation


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