A Time Team Special - Britain's Stone Age Tsunami
Mark Maslin in Channel 4 programme
On 30 May Professor Mark Maslin appeared in the Channel 4 programme, “Britain's Stone Age Tsunami”, discussing with Tony Robinson the drowning of Doggerland in the North Sea and the final split between Britain and the European mainland.
The programme highlighted the evidence showing how, 8,000 years ago, a huge tsunami swamped the east coast of Britain. In 6000 BC Britain was still joined to the rest of Europe by Doggerland, an area of low land the size of Germany, crossed by river valleys and inhabited by a human population of thousands, many in settled Mesolithic communities.
As Norway slowly rose, recovering from the huge ice sheet that had sat upon it for over 50,000 years, a massive submarine sediment failure occurred under the ocean off the coast of Norway, This triggered a tsunami with a wave height of over 10 m. The presence in deposits in Scotland and Norway of Immature fish bones and buds show that this event must have occurred in late autumn or winter. The tsunami may have finally separated Britain from the European mainland, making us the Island nations of today.
Mark is also science consultant to the Ice Age Giants series, currently running on BBC2.