The deforestation of south coastal Turkey during the late Roman Empire will be the focus of a lecture at Hope College on Monday, Oct. 7.

Dr. Nicholas K. Rauh, professor of Classics at Purdue University, will present “Landscape Ecology and the End of Antiquity: The Archaeology of Deforestation in South Coastal Turkey” on Monday, Oct. 7, at 4:30 p.m. in Cook Auditorium of the De Pree Art Center at Hope College.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

The region of western Rough Cilicia (south coastal Turkey) was celebrated during antiquity for its pristine cedar forests, which stood between 1,500 meters and 1,800 meters in altitude along the slopes of the Tauros Mountains. Today along the front range of the Tauros Mountains, the forest is completely denuded or otherwise replanted with recent growth (past 80 years).

Rauh’s Rough Cilicia Archaeological Survey Project employs paleo-environmental analysis of relic cedar forests in the Taurus Mountains to construct a timeline of human disturbances associated with population growth over time.  Since 2000, his study has incorporated research on landscape transformation as one component of a regional survey of ancient Rough Cilicia. The goal of the project has been to identify the combination of forces that precipitated urban development in the ancient Mediterranean world, whether the remnants of such forces are identifiable in the archaeological record, and the impact of settlement changes on the contemporary landscape.

Rauh’s teaching and research interests are in Greek and Roman History, and Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean archaeology. He is the author of “The Sacred Bonds of Commerce. Religion, Economy, and Trade Society at Hellenistic Roman Delos, 166-87 BC” (J. C. Gieben, 1993), and has also published papers on Roman economic, social, and cultural history.

The De Pree Art Center is located at 160 E. 12th St., on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.