Saturday, 30 April 2016

Ancient apocalypse: The great British tsunami of 6100 BC.



Watching Neil Oliver’s excellent History of Ancient Britain on BBC-4 television, I was reminded of the story of a great tsunami that struck the country 8,000 years ago, which may have been the first major natural disaster suffered by British men and women.

Archaeologists think that in about 6100 BC, huge landslides in Norway triggered great waves which struck the North-east and penetrated 25 miles inland, turning low-lying plains into what is now the North Sea, and cutting us off from the continent.

Before the tsunami, a landbridge from the region around the Wash connected us with the Low Countries. Rising sea levels were already threatening it before the natural disaster finished off the job.

The drowned area was known to archaeologists as Doggerland, and was largely made up of lagoons, marshes and mudflats. It is believed to have been one of the richest hunting grounds in Europe. So many humans would presumably have been caught up in this ancient tsunami. (See also my post of 1 May 2014.)


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