more Orkney--study of post glacial sea level changes
- 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."