Geothermal activity at the archaeological site of Aghia Kyriaki and its significance to Roman industrial mineral exploitation on Melos, Greece Mineral Exploitation on Melos, Greece

Hall, A.J., Photos-Jones, E. , McNulty, A., Turner, D. and McRobb, A. (2003) Geothermal activity at the archaeological site of Aghia Kyriaki and its significance to Roman industrial mineral exploitation on Melos, Greece Mineral Exploitation on Melos, Greece. Geoarchaeology: An International Journal, 18(3), pp. 333-357. (doi: 10.1002/gea.10068)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Abstract

The geothermal setting of the archaeological site at Aghia Kyriaki, Southeast Melos (or Milos) was investigated in order to help clarify the possible role of the site in mineral exploitation on Melos in Roman times. There are active sulfurous fumaroles in the area and these were also potential sources of sulfur and alum-group minerals in Roman times. However, geothermal activity has been ongoing in Southeast Melos for hundreds of thousands of years, and extensive hydrothermal alteration of basement rocks to the northeast of the site has produced “white rocks” containing additional potential industrial minerals such as kaolin and alunite. The archaeological remains occur within, but mainly near the surface, of a deeply gullied sequence of late Quaternary alluvial sediments, which consist mainly of metamorphic detritus but are rich in sulfates; the remains contain pottery sherds through the entire sequence of about 40 m. They were deposited on an earlier gullied topography of felsic tuffs overlying the metamorphic basement. Pervasive and veinlike intense reddish alteration of these sediments is probably mainly due to superheated fluid escaping from depth. Field observations demonstrate that this took place after the main phase of building but was likely to be ongoing during occupation of the site. While industrial minerals and geothermal energy would therefore have been available in the Roman period, any relationship of the site to mineral exploitation will have to be determined by archaeological excavation.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Photos-Jones, Dr Effie and Hall, Dr Allan
Authors: Hall, A.J., Photos-Jones, E., McNulty, A., Turner, D., and McRobb, A.
Subjects:D History General and Old World > DF Greece
Q Science > QE Geology
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Journal Name:Geoarchaeology: An International Journal
Publisher:Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
ISSN:0883-6353
ISSN (Online):1520-6548

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record