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AuthorsPeppoloni, S.* 
Di Capua, G.* 
TitleGeological events during the Holocene: an overview for Northern Europe and the Mediterranean
Issue Date2012
PublisherSamperi Editore
Northern Europe
Ice age
Submarine landslides
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.99. General or miscellaneous 
04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.99. General or miscellaneous 
04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.05. Historical seismology 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.99. General or miscellaneous 
05. General::05.02. Data dissemination::05.02.99. General or miscellaneous 
05. General::05.02. Data dissemination::05.02.02. Seismological data 
05. General::05.02. Data dissemination::05.02.03. Volcanic eruptions 
05. General::05.08. Risk::05.08.99. General or miscellaneous 
05. General::05.09. Miscellaneous::05.09.99. General or miscellaneous 
AbstractThe Holocene is the most recent geological epoch spanning from about 11700 years ago to the present day. The most important human civilizations appeared during the Holocene. From the Holocene onwards, environmental changes, and the hazards associated with them, became extremely important for their impact on historical events, in some cases blending with humanity’s vicissitudes and influencing the rise and decline of civilizations. This paper summarises the geological and climatic conditions of Northern Europe during the Holocene and tries to determine whether or not they support the hypothesis formulated by Felice Vinci (Vinci, 2003) about the migration of Baltic populations towards the Mediterranean in the Bronze Age at the end of the “climatic optimum” (Houghton et al., 1990; Rohling & De Rijk, 1999). This study presents data on glacio-eustatic changes and on isostatic uplift together with information on probable tsunamis that occurred in the North Atlantic, North Sea, Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea. Moreover, some data on catastrophic events that affected the Mediterranean region are reported, because these catastrophes could have favoured the settlement of “people coming from the sea” that took advantage of the demographic and socio-economic weakening of indigenous populations (Driessen, 2002). The paper aims to provide geological and palaeogeographic constraints to the hypotheses formulated by Felice Vinci on the migration of Scandinavians towards the Mediterranean. The data analysed have been collected from the available scientific literature (see references). The amount of information available for each geological phenomenon is vast and sometimes theories developed from the same data are in conflict. The comparison between the Mediterranean and the Baltic areas (one of which could have been the theatre of the Homeric events) will be useful to find evidence of geological phenomena within the Homeric texts, giving useful indications to better understand where the poems are set or at least to provide interesting discussion points related to Felice Vinci’s hypothesis (Vinci 2003).
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