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9 July 2011
Black Sea's ancient coast found

Scientists have found the ancient shores of the Black Sea, currently deep beneath the waves, which they claim were the original shores about 7500 years ago, when the Black Sea at the time was just a fresh water lake. The Bulgarian team leader, Professor Petko Dimitrov of the Institute of Oceanology in Varna, said that they have found the ancient coastline close to the Cape of Emine.
     The common theory of the creation of the Black Sea says that there was a massive deluge through the straits of Bosporus, where waters from the Mediterranean flooded into the lake. Once the Mediterranean Sea breached the Bosporus Strait, it irreversibly changed the history of the people in the area, as well as the flora and fauna.
     In 1997, William Ryan and Walter Pitman published evidence that a massive flooding of the Black Sea occurred about 5600 BCE through the Bosporus. According to the theory, glacial melt-water had turned the Black and Caspian Seas into vast freshwater lakes draining into the Aegean Sea before that event. As glaciers retreated, some of the rivers emptying into the Black Sea declined in volume and changed course to drain into the North Sea.
     Part of the Bulgarian expedition was also Professor William Ryan, a geologist at Columbia University. "As a true scientist, until the results are finalised, I will reserve doubts about the theory of Professor Petko Dimitrov, that this part of the coastline was indeed affected by the flood and that this was the ancient shoreline," he said. "I am still doubtful whether there is a small gap in his theory. All my observations support the theory, but we are still looking for any evidence which may disprove it," he added.

Edited from The Sofia Echo (7 July 2011)

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