The Archaeologists Find Evidence That a Massive Tsunami

When Gilead Schenberg began digging on an Israeli beach in August 2018, the last thing he expected to find was a spot. A geologist at the Scripps Center for Marine Archeology in Boring, California, about 30 feet below the sandy surface, was excavating a Dorburn-shaped cove called the Bay of Schenberg, Dor. About 10,000 years ago, the cove was part of a swampy wetland at least one mile from the coast. He was distraught when he found evidence of marine life staring into sediment cores; A taupe strip in an otherwise umber soil sample, evidence of a tsunami sandwich within the layers of the Neolithic levant.

“A borehole is like a past,” Schenberg told Gizmodo, because we can use the sediment obtained inside these plastic tubes to get an understanding of how the environment changes over time. “Schenberg is the lead author of a new paper on excavation, published today in the open-access journal PLOS One.

More than 60 holes were bored in the area of ​​the Oil Door, a large mound of human settlement dating back to the Middle Bronze Age, which is located about halfway between the Roman ruins at Caesarea and the Crusader Fort at Atlit. Samples of coarse sediment continued to bend that beige strip of marine critters, indicating that whatever force was brought was inland. “By the Fifth Corps, I was sure we had some,” Schenberg said.

The research team, funded by the Koret Foundation and obtained from the University of California, Utah State University, and the University of Haifa in Israel, used optically induced luminance technology to deposit quartz-heavy minerals from the coastline. (Some of the better-known radiocarbon dating does not work well on beaches in the area, Schenberg said, due to the large margin of error in measuring carbon isotopes from marine organisms). The technique suggests that the last time quartz was exposed to light – that is, just before it was buried – and limited the time frame of the event to the eighth millennium BCE. Based on the location of the core and how far west the ancient beach was, the team estimates that the tsunami was more than 50 feet high and may have swamped up to 2 miles inland on the shore.

“This study is very exciting, as it adds another example of physical evidence of a palaeotsunami incident along Israel’s coastline,” said Beverly Goodman, a marine geoscientist at the University of Haifa, who said in an email Were not included in the study. “The more events added to the catalog, the greater our understanding of tsunami risk in the region.”

Goodman said the team provided strong evidence that the tsunami had actually occurred in the region, although its scale is uncertain, as the Levantine coast is relatively linear and prone to erosion, so the core tsunami evidence is only in the Bay of Dork. Crop around. It may be uncertain how far the wave has reached and reached the coast; Would it have fled northward into what is now Syria and Lebanon, or to the south, which is now the Gaza Strip.

Goodman was more skeptical of the team’s claims as to the size of the wave and the effect on humans, as it is not entirely clear what the Neolithic settlement of the coast looked like. “The suggestion that it was a ‘megasunami’ would require further work,” she said.

The eastern Mediterranean may not seem like a typical site for tsunamis; It is far from the famous fault lines and tectonic plates, which have caused conditions from Northwest Washington to Southeast Asia. But the Telltale Seychelles of Tel Dor sparked the notion that the ancient Levantine communities were equally vulnerable, and the tsunami may have eroded coastal settlements, leading to an inland migration that would keep the area for centuries to come. Defines the place of residence of.

“Societies have been transitioning for more than a million years of being rural and hunter-gatherers in the Middle East; They were experimenting with this village-based sedentary lifestyle, “explained Thomas Levy, an archaeologist at UC San Diego and co-author of a recent paper, Gizmodo.” These communities were wiped out along the Carmel coast, Essentially, and their ecosystem along the coastal plain was destroyed and disrupted by the tsunami. ”

The largest source of earthquakes in the Middle East is the Dead Sea Transform, which runs beneath the Jordan River Valley and divides the African tectonic plate from the Arabian Plate. The team’s current hypothesis is of some domino effect, where an ancient earthquake in the Dead Sea Rift occurs in small faults close to the coast, forgetting an underwater landslide, causing a massive wave on the west coast of the area . Behold the inhabitants of its Neolithic period.

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