Thursday, June 05, 2008

Tsunami or melting glaciers: What caused ancient Atlit to sink?

At the bottom of the sea, some 300 meters west of the Atlit fortress, lies one of the greatest archaeological mysteries of the Mediterranean basin. About 20 years ago, archaeologists discovered a complex of ancient buildings and ancient graves with dozens of skeletons at the underwater site of Atlit-Yam. The team of marine archaeologists that excavated the site, headed by Dr. Ehud Galili of the Israel Antiquities Authority, came to the consclusion that an ancient settlement once existed there, but sank beneath the surface of the sea some 8,000 years ago.

Eh. I can see a tsunami destroying a coastal village, but how could it submerge it? Evidence has been found that the Thera eruption caused significant damage to coastal sites on Crete, but none of them was submerged. They mention rising sea levels, but I wonder if it could be simple tectonics that you see around the southern shores of the Med.