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Changing mediterranean environment: irrefutable evidence from pre-industrial, unpublicised scenes contemporary with a mission (1786-1787) in the Levant

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Pages :
516 - 524

Rhizopoulou S.
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This paper provides an introduction to one hundred thirty one, pre-industrial, unpublicised
Mediterranean scenes kept in Oxford, which constitute valuable evidence of changing environment.
The largely unknown and unpublished paintings witness environmental wilderness and the cultural
landscapes of the region, late in the 18th century. They depict sixty two scenes from Greece, forty
two from Turkey, twenty two from Italy, three from Cyprus and two from Gibraltar. The paintings
reveal changes that have occurred over the last two centuries in Mediterranean ecosystems;
uninhabited areas, mountainous expanses, coastal regions, and Aegean islands. The region
belongs to the hotspots of the biodiversity on Earth. Scientific interest in archival material has been
revived, on account of research into a diversity threatened by anthropogenic activities and climate
change. In this context, unknown Mediterranean scenes of 18th century offer another perspective
on this complex subject of enquiry, they support efforts towards protection and preservation of
natural environment and heighten interest in the management of diverse Mediterranean

Aegean, Greece, Cyprus, nature, Italy, Oxford, Turkey, wilderness