Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my new book called "The Stonehenge Bluestones" -- due for publication on June 1st 2018. After that, it will be available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
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Saturday, 23 April 2011

The Great Mesolithic Inundation (2)

Robert Langdon has taken me to task for calling his Great Mesolithic Inundation an inundation.  Well, here's some free publicity for his book, together with a link.  Above is one of Robert's crucial maps, purporting to show how the Stonehenge bluestones were transported by sea, from one Mesolithic harbour to another.  The flooded area, purportedly around 7,500 BC (9,500 BP), is shown in blue.  Looks pretty inundated to me..........

Robert appears to have taken the 100m contour and used that as his reconstructed shoreline.  The only problem is that there is no evidence to support it, and indeed the theory is directly contradicted by the fact that all around the shores of South Wales and SW England there are submerged forests, showing that woodlands were extensive beyond the positions of the present shoreline after 10,000 BP and confirming that relative sea-level was substantially LOWER, not higher, than the shoreline of today.  After 10,000 BP it gradually rose to more or less its present position.

Until Robert manages to explain away the accumulated evidence of the submerged forests and the gradual rise of the Flandrian sea-level, shall we just quietly put his theory to one side, and forget about it?  And while he's about it, perhaps he will also explain away the evidence of Mesolithic settlement sites close to our present shoreline, in places which were at the time, according to him, under 100m of sea water?

What were we saying about pseudo-science?


Tony Hinchliffe said...

Evidence from Dr Rick Schulting of Oxford University shows that people have lived on Pembrokeshire's Caldey Island for 30,000 years. During the Mesolithic, far from being submerged, the island sustained a human population which utilised 50-70% fish protein.

Tony Hinchliffe said...

Surely Cardigan Bay is a case in point for demonstrating a huge submerged land surface during the Mesolithic/ Paleolithic Ages? I am sure, Brian, you could show us a map which would give us a spectacular notion of that former immense land surface. Submerged forests are still evident between Borth and Aberdovey, are they not. Some idea was given on an old BBC "Coast" episode.

BRIAN JOHN said...

This reminds me of some work I did with Brother James and Mel Davies in the early 1970's. A woolly rhinoceros scapula found in Ogof-yr-Ychen Cave on Caldey was radiocarbon dated to 22,350 yrs BP (probably needs to be re-calibrated) -- and in a horizon above that we found a Mesolithic flint flake in association with the teeth of hyenas and woolly rhinoceros. We interpreted the flake as a Cresswellian scraper -- again suggesting that Mesolithic people were living in this cave or nearby at a time when sea-level was some way below its present position.

BRIAN JOHN said...

OK Tony -- I'll stick up a map for you! Yes indeed, the great Welsh story of Cantre'r Gwaelod is reputed to be a folk memory of the great inundation of Cardigan Bay during the Mesolithic. Watch this space....

BRIAN JOHN said...

Re Ogof yr Ychen, I've looked at that old article again -- the scrapers and flakes are associated with the woolly rhinoceros, deer antlers, hyena bones etc, and are interpreted as Cresswellian -- Upper Palaeolithic, from around 12,000BP. The Mesolithic layer is higher up, with small flint flakes and abundant animal bones presumably dating from the Younger Dryas or thereabouts.

The Stonehenge Enigma said...

Inundation - "the act of inundating, or the state of being inundated; an overflow; a flood; a rising and spreading of water over grounds."

Although technically accurate it is never the less misleading as you are linking it to sea levels.

My hypothesis shows that the water levels/table of Britain was affected by the last ice age - don't need to be a genius to work that one out!

The consequence was that the rivers we currently see and experience were much larger than today.

So does an enlarged Thames inundate Surrey? - I say not, but you might have another view Brian?

By reverse engineering the data on water levels in an area such as Stonehenge 'prior' to the industrial revolution you can find that the River Avon was 97m high at 8000BC - 7000BC again simple logic.

Consequently, when you then find not one or two but forty pieces of Archaeogical/Geological and Topological evidence to support this 'enlarged' river - you can happily ignore all the sceptics as you know that statistically your on to a winner!

Finally Brian, when you work out why the sea level data does not make any sense (see today's blog) you will have the answer to the question of why your Mesolithic Woods on the coasts flooded when they did - BUT if you can't work it out, buy the book!


BRIAN JOHN said...

Now this is getting absurd, Robert. What is your map supposed to show, if not a substantial inundation by the sea? Are you now saying that your map is misleading, and that it doesn't represent your ideas at all?

Do you deny all the evidence of the submerged forests and the coastal Mesolithic sites described by Andrew David and a host of other scientists?

Can you forget about reverse engineering and concentrate instead on actual field evidence? I know you have a book to sell, but nothing you have said so far leads me to think that it contains any serious science at all.