Seismic uplift of the harbour of ancient Aigeira, Central Greece



The Mavra Litharia cove, between Akrata and Derveni, in the North Peloponnesian coast (Central Greece), has been identified as the site of the harbour of the Hellenistic Aigeira, one of the very few natural harbours along the uplifting, fault-controlled North Peloponnesian coast.

Geomorphological, marine biological and archaeological data as well as radiocarbon dating of marine fossils testify to a 2m relative land uplift since Hellenistic times (around 2000 years bp), part of which (1 m at least) was probably seismic, dated to the Byzantine period (AD 900–1200). This palaeoseismic event, as well as others deduced from archaeological data, are not included in the historical seismology records, but had probably dramatic impacts on the economic and cultural history of ancient Aigeira.

The amplitude of uplift at Mavra Litharia is of the same order of magnitude as submersion dominating the Aegean and, with the exception of the arc, the higher Holocene uplift rate recorded in this area and the surrounding regions. This result is consistent with the Quaternary uplift history of North Peloponnesus.