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more Orkney--study of post glacial sea level changes

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  • Susan
    Ancient Waterway farers & Jamey, Stan in reference to previous posts, As another FYI, see the study below on post-glacial sea level changes begun last summer
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 21, 2007
      Ancient Waterway farers & Jamey, Stan in reference to previous posts,

      As another FYI, see the study below on post-glacial sea level changes
      begun last summer in the Orkney Islands.

      Referring back to your original article, Jamey:

      "...Orkney, with its hundred small beaches and harbours: the
      crossroads where every merchant-ship rested, where every tax-boat and
      warship and supply vessel ran for shelter in the wild, open

      That aspect of the article probably was referring to the more
      historic Viking era, but after seeing the new study below on post-
      glacial possibilities, it seems probable the Orkneys could very
      well have been a significant ancient ceremonial site and vast trade
      network. Imagine a drop in sea levels varyingly up to ninety
      feet (or more) and how much larger the land surface, more
      beachline, inlets, numerous more (or larger) island masses
      currently under water joining together.

      Who can doubt scientists of many fields of academia are back to the
      drawing board re: drastically changes in climate, temperatures, Gulf
      streams, coastal shorelines, ports, settlement sites than previously
      assumed. No wonder for the 'lack of archeological evidence' at sites
      once considered coastal ha habitation sites. Until recently in
      textbooks, little or no references were made in regard to water level
      and shoreline changes since the ice age(s).

      As an observer during excavations at the Miami Circle several years
      ago a couple of the lead archaeologists admitted that underwater
      archaeology was a relatively recent area of research. Hopefully
      historians and geologists engaged in coastline research are thinking
      larger and getting scuba certification.

      In part, from Orkney Archaeological News 06/12/06, from "Prehistoric
      Sea Level Study Begins" (web link below, for full article):

      "...Although it is generally assumed that relative sea levels in
      prehistoric times were much lower than at present, there has been no
      detailed work to confirm exactly how much and we do not know when sea
      level reached its present levels.

      The change in sea level is a complicated process that relates both to
      the release of water from the ice at the end of the last glaciation,
      and to the bounce back of the land once the weight of ice upon it has

      Across Scotland this varies due to the varying thickness of ice at
      different places. In Orkney relative sea level is still rising, but
      very slowly....The project, which is still in the early stages, also
      hopes to use samples taken in the 1970s by the British Geological
      Society to calculate early sea level changes at the end of the Ice
      Age when relative sea level around Orkney may have been as much as 30
      metres below that of the present day. The landscape of Orkney that
      greeted the earliest settlers would have been very different,
      possibly one or two large, hilly islands surrounded by sea."
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