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Methology and contexts

The Mediterraneanization of Crimea

Physical and cultural processes in landscape transformation
La « méditerranéisation » de la Crimée, transformations physique et culturelle des paysages
Carlos E. Cordova
p. 25-36


The southern coast of Crimea has been recognized in the biogeographic literature as a Sub-Mediterranean vegetation territory. This recognition stems from the presence of Mediterranean plant taxa despite its relatively high latitude (between 43° 23’ 11” and 46° 10’ 26” N) and geographic separation from the Mediterranean biome. The evolution of the Sub-Mediterranean landscapes of southern Crimea involves a series of physical and cultural processes that over several millennia in the middle and late Holocene have interacted to provide this region with a Mediterranean character. This millennial-scale interaction is here referred to as the Mediterraneanization of Crimea. In this paper the two components, physical and cultural Mediterraneanization, are outlined and discussed.

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Index terms

Geographical index :

Crimea, Black sea
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Full-text article available to subscribers or on a "pay per view" basis. It will be available on this URL in January 2020.
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1 - Study area
2 - Climate and vegetation
of southern Crimea
3 - Defining Mediterraneanization
4 - Physical Mediterraneanization
5 - Cultural Mediterraneanization
6 - Mediterranean crops in the transformation of Crimea
6.1 - The role of the ancient Greek colonies in the process of Mediterraneanization
6.2 - Mediterranean crop successes and failures
6.3 - Agricultural intensification in pollen diagrams

First lines

Although located in an area outside the Mediterranean region, the vegetation of the southern Crimean coast has been associated with the Mediterranean biome. But because of its geographic separation from the core Mediterranean region, southern Crimea has been identified as an exclave of Mediterranean vegetation along with other regions in the Caucasus (GRATSIANSKIY, 1971; WALTER, 1974; DIDUKH et al., 1990) or as a Sub‑Mediterranean biogeographic territory (RIKLI, 1943; WALTER, 1974; YENA, 1978; DIDUKH, 1992). The presence, and relative abundance, of Mediterranean floristic elements in Crimea depends primarily on a relatively mild winter and a relatively short, but substantially dry summer season (DOUGUEDROIT and ZIMINA, 1987; CORDOVA, 2007).

For palaeoecologists and biogeographers the question surrounding the Mediterranean flora and vegetation of southern Crimea has generated a great deal of interest and debate. The main question is when and how the Mediterranean flora and its commun...

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Electronic reference

Carlos E. Cordova, « The Mediterraneanization of Crimea », Méditerranée [Online], 126 | 2016, Online since 01 January 2018, connection on 19 January 2018. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/mediterranee.8179

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About the author

Carlos E. Cordova

Department of Geography, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA,

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