Friday, December 01, 2006

Towering Ancient Tsunami Devastated the Mediterranean
A volcano avalanche in Sicily 8,000 years ago triggered a devastating tsunami taller than a 10-story building that spread across the entire Mediterranean Sea, slamming into the shores of three continents in only a few hours [image].

A new computer simulation of the ancient event reveals for the first time the enormity of the catastrophe and its far-reaching effects [video].

The Mt. Etna avalanche sent 6 cubic miles of rock and sediment tumbling into the water—enough material to cover the entire island of Manhattan in a layer of debris thicker than the Empire State Building is tall.

. . .

The researchers have also linked the ancient tsunami with the mysterious abandonment of Atlit-Yam, a Neolithic village located along the coast of present-day
Israel. When archeologists discovered the village about 20 years ago, they found evidence of a sudden evacuation, including a pile of fish that had been gutted and sorted but then left to rot.

Found via Powerline. A link there goes to some comments-enabled place where someone named "RJP" queries: "How devastating could the tsumani that is thought to have hit the village of Atlit-Yam been if it left undisturbed a pile of gutted fish? "

Indeed. Unless said pile o' fish was inside a structure or something that might have broken up the force of the waves. But then, this should have left all sorts of characteristic flood deposits covering everything. Make of it all what you will.

UPDATE: Aha. . . .seems it's an underwater site. There's a link at that site to a JFA article on the site; don't know if it's open-access or not. After a brief perusal, there doesn't seem to be anything in the stratigraphy known as of 1993 to suggest any unusual deposits covering the site, just various proportions of sand and clay. But this is a somewhat dated report.