Project

The Hinojos Project

Goal: The Hinojos Project is a multidisciplinary endeavor that started in 2005 and is still active. The first oral publication with results dates from 2007; the first printed publication with results came out in 2012. Participants include geologists, biologists, archaeologists, historians, and anthropologists; generally speaking, they aim to substantiate a hypothetical correlation between cultural history and geomorphological transformations in SW Iberia, particularly in the Lower Guadalquivir River Basin, during the Middle and the Late Holocene. Phases I and II of the project concern the Mid and Late Holocene to early historical times; that is, to the year 1000 BC or so. Phase III concerns the Tartessian period and later periods to Roman Imperial times.

Date: 5 September 2005

Updates
0 new
1
Recommendations
0 new
2
Followers
0 new
4
Reads
0 new
175

Project log

Juan J.R. Villarías-Robles
added a project reference
Juan J.R. Villarías-Robles
added an update
Research in the Guadalquivir estuary and its environs has revealed evidence of a periodic succession of extreme-wave events in the area from the third millennium BC to the third century AD. Return periods range from 400 to 800 years. Some of these extreme-wave events may have had a magnitude comparable with that of the so-called “Lisbon earthquake” of 1755. Contrary to the tenets of the uniformitarian paradigm in geology—still influential in the archeological literature—these events had short-, mid-, and long-term geomorphological and paleo-environmental, as well as immediately destructive and demographic, effects. Attention ought to be called to reverberations of these events in the cultural development of southwestern Iberia as well, which is independently known for puzzling interruptions, recommencements, and transformations every few centuries from the Neolithic to the Roman period. The two records, natural and cultural, might be connected.
 
Juan J.R. Villarías-Robles
added a project goal
The Hinojos Project is a multidisciplinary endeavor that started in 2005 and is still active. The first oral publication with results dates from 2007; the first printed publication with results came out in 2012. Participants include geologists, biologists, archaeologists, historians, and anthropologists; generally speaking, they aim to substantiate a hypothetical correlation between cultural history and geomorphological transformations in SW Iberia, particularly in the Lower Guadalquivir River Basin, during the Middle and the Late Holocene. Phases I and II of the project concern the Mid and Late Holocene to early historical times; that is, to the year 1000 BC or so. Phase III concerns the Tartessian period and later periods to Roman Imperial times.
 
Juan J.R. Villarías-Robles
added a research item
Research in the Guadalquivir estuary and its environs has revealed evidence of a periodic succession of extreme-wave events in the area from the third millennium BC to the third century AD. Return periods range from 400 to 800 years. Some of these extreme-wave events may have had a magnitude comparable with that of the so-called “Lisbon earthquake” of 1755. Contrary to the tenets of the uniformitarian paradigm in geology—still influential in the archeological literature—these events had short-, mid-, and long-term geomorphological and paleo-environmental, as well as immediately destructive and demographic, effects. Attention should also be called to the reverberations of these events in the cultural development of southwestern Iberia, which is independently known for puzzling interruptions, recommencements, and transformations every few centuries from the Neolithic to the Roman period. The two records, natural and cultural, might be connected. In study areas with a compelling historical and archeological heritage, such as western Andalusia, there is a need for multidisciplinary projects that, by bringing geology and biology to bear on archeology and history, aim to accurately establish the succession of geographical and environmental transformations, the impact of these transformations on the area’s cultural history, and the chronology of the events.
Juan J.R. Villarías-Robles
added a research item
A remarkable feature of the geomorphological processes at work on the coasts of the Gulf of Cadiz in SW Iberia is the estuarine mouths of a number of large-flowing rivers: Guadiana, Piedras, Tinto-Odiel, Guadalete and Guadalquivir. These mouths exhibit sandy barriers and marshlands. Over the most recent millennia, these five estuaries have been conditioned by fluvial-marine dynamics, climate change, neo-tectonics and anthropogenic activity. The systems of sandy littoral barriers and marshlands have built up during phases of progradation and aggradation, interrupted at intervals in the course of the Holocene by erosional phases of "Extreme wave events" or EWEs (storm surges or tsunamis) and subsidence.
Juan J.R. Villarías-Robles
added a research item
The estuary of the Guadalquivir River is the largest in the Gulf of Cadiz, covering an area of some 185,000 ha. From a geological standpoint, the estuary represents the culmination of the marine filling of the Cenozoic Guadalquivir Basin. The present-day configuration of the estuary is the result of the post-glacial transgression of the Atlantic Ocean, starting ca. 15,000 years, that developed during the latest Pleistocene-Holocene up until some 5,500 years ago, when the level of the sea stabilised. The lower Guadalquivir valley was transformed into a wide estuary as the interfluves turned into pronounced headlands. Marine and fluvial dynamics, dependent upon climate and tectonics, thus shaped the present landscape, which features extensive dune systems, marshes and spits, as well as erosion of the headlands (cliff formation).
Juan J.R. Villarías-Robles
added a research item
The geomorphological and stratigraphic study of the marshes of Doñana National Park has revealed neo-tectonic activity during the Late Holocene. Anomalous drainage systems and relict surfaces show alignments in NE-SW and NW-SE directions. Analysis of a 12 m core has allowed the authors to identify coastal formations that are now buried under 6 m of subsequent clayey deposits. A radiocarbon age of 4,410-3,830 cal BP has been obtained for this depth. The coastal formations identified in the core are related to the current dune system of El Abalario, located on the topographic surface to the north. The authors estimate a subsidence rate of 1.5 mm per year of the ground surface south of the NE-SW alignment over the past 4,000 years. South-east of this surface, such a progressive, relative subsidence has facilitated the sedimentation of all subsequent formations.
Juan J.R. Villarías-Robles
added 2 research items
A multidisciplinary study from a number of drilled cores in the Guadalquivir estuary has made possible to identify as many as three extreme wave events and their facies in the 4th millennium BP (A: ~ 4000 cal yr BP, B: ~ 3550 cal yr BP, and C: ~ 3150 cal yr BP). These events, which caused strong erosion in the Guadalquivir sandy barrier and in the neighboring aeolian systems of El Abalario, brought about significant paleogeographical changes that may have affected human settlements established in the area during the Neolithic and Copper Age periods and during the Middle Bronze Age. The three events can be spatially correlated and their facies differentiated from more proximal to more distal from the coastline. The most proximal facies is characterized by a massive accumulation of shells, a sandy or sandy–muddy matrix, an erosive base, a highly diverse mixture of species (marine and estuarine), and lithoclasts. The most distal facies presents a muddy–sandy matrix, dominance of estuarine fauna, shell accumulation, presence of terrestrial species, mudpebbles, pebbles in a clayey matrix, and bioturbation. The evidence presented will further advance scientific knowledge about the impact of extreme wave events on coastal areas in SW Iberia and NW Africa.
Juan J.R. Villarías-Robles
added 2 research items
Abstract A detailed pollen analysis has been carried out on two sediment cores taken from a marsh area located in the Doñana National Park, southwestern Spain. The studied sedimentary sequences contain a similar late Holocene record of vegetation and climate and show a progressive aridification trend since at least 5000 cal. yr BP, through a decrease in forest cover in this area. Long-term vegetation changes shown here (semi-desert expansion and Mediterranean forest decline) paralleled declining summer insolation. Decreasing summer insolation most likely impacted negatively on tree growing season as well as on winter precipitation in the area. Superimposed on the long-term aridification trend were multi-centennial scale periods characterized by forest reductions or increases in arid and halophytic plants that can be interpreted as produced by enhanced droughts and/or by local geodynamic processes. These are centered at ca. 4000, 3000–2500, and 1000 cal. yr BP, coinciding in timing and duration with well-known dry events in the western Mediterranean and other areas but could have also been generated by local sedimentary or geodynamic processes such as a marine transgression in a subsidence context and extreme wave events (EWEs). The alternation of persistent North Atlantic Oscillation modes probably played an important role in controlling these relatively humid–arid cycles.