Thursday, January 24, 2008

Noah's Ark flood spurred European farming
A British scientist has found evidence linking the catastrophic collapse of a glacial ice dam in Canada more than 8,000 years ago and the rapid spread of agriculture across Europe around the same time.

The dramatic discharge of freshwater from prehistoric Lake Agassiz - which covered much of Central Canada at the end of the last ice age - has long been blamed for altering global climate patterns and raising sea levels around the world by at least a metre in a matter of months.

. . .

Now, University of Exeter geologist Chris Turney believes he has traced the sudden proliferation of farming across neolithic Europe to an exodus of coastal people moving inland to escape the results of the Agassiz flood.

Hmmmmmm. From my reading, agriculture was already spreading out from the near east more or less regularly, though I do have a memory tickle of someone arguing that the first agriculturalists followed the coastlines into Europe.