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28 August 2013
Dig reveals evidence of ancient tsunami

Excavations at Low Hauxley, near Druridge Bay in Northumberland (England), have unearthed material which experts say was deposited by the giant tidal wave which cut Britain off from the rest of Europe 8,000 years ago. Lead archaeologist, Doctor Clive Waddington, described the site as a "staggering find".
     During the Mesolithic period - in about 6,100 BCE - Britain broke free of mainland Europe for good, after landslides in Norway triggered a huge tsunami. The water struck the north-east of Britain and travelled 40 kilometres inland, turning low-lying plains into what is now the North Sea.
     Doctor Waddington said the Low Hauxley site was the most southerly point on the British Isles where evidence of the tsunami had been found. "We hope this discovery will flesh out the story of how Britain became an island as well as tell us about what the environment was like at that time here in Druridge Bay."
     Philippa Cockburn, of Archaeological Research Services Limited, said the deposits amounted to "impressive new evidence" of how Britain was formed. She said: "The deposits are in the form of water-rounded pebbles and rocks which are below Mesolithic soil at Low Hauxley. The soil contains thousands of flint tools which, based on their shape and method of manufacture, date to around 6,000 BCE." Prior to this event, Britain was connected from an area around the Wash over to the low countries.

Edited from BBC News (21 August 2013)

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