Morphological changes in the proximity of the Greek colonies founded along the western (Romanian) Black Sea coast: Orgame, Histria, Tomis, and Kallatis

  • Luminița PREOTEASA Sfântu Gheorghe Marine and Fluvial Research Station, Faculty of Geography, University of Bucharest, Romania
Keywords: coastal evolution, sea level, ancient harbors, Greek colonization


This paper is a review of the up to date knowledge about the coastal environmental transformations around the Greek settlements along the present–day Romanian shoreline. The aim is to define a general pattern of the morphological configuration the Greeks were looking for when establishing their colonies. Existing quantitative and qualitative database on shoreline evolution both along the low lying deltaic sector (N) and along the soft rock cliffs along the southern sector of the present–day Romanian coast together with the present day morphological configuration analysis at each study site were used to assess large spatial (~180 km alongshore) and temporal scales (ca. 2500 yrs) of coastal behavior. The coastal dynamics during the late Holocene was controlled by the deltaic lobes development along the northern part of the present day Romanian coast which led to important shoreline progradation and subsequent isolation from the shoreline of Histria and Orgame Greek cities. The continuous sediment input depletion, sea level rise, storms set-up, longshore transport system and local tectonic activity drove the cliff line retreat along the southern sector, with important parts of the Tomis and Kallatis settlements being lost to the sea.