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Submerged Past Worlds

7 September 2021
Ancient history

Interesting article from The Conservation – but see https://phys.org/news/2021-08-ancient-beliefs-underwater-worlds-sealevel… … and although some of the evidence produced is very interesting it is unfortunately an article inspired by the idea of modern global warming and rising sea levels. This leads to some strange interpretation of the legendary material – even the stone alignments of Britanny which are said to originate as an attempt to stop sea levels rising by appealing to the gods. The  global warming mantra has produced some head banging claims but this is a bit rich, even by those standards. It begins with the Fiji islanders of the South Pacific, and a sacred lagoon. They claim the lagoon was created after a submergence event, at an indeterminate point of time in the past. This is known as Lomanikoro – and you might like to look it up. The submergence event is said to have reconfigured the power structures of Fijiian society in ways that people can still remember. In northern Australia various Aboriginal groups trace their origins to sunken lands. This may reflect on the drowning of the land bridge that once existed between Australia and New Guinea. In NW Europe there are countless [a bit of exaggeration] stories of drowned lands located beyond the current coastlines – such as Cardigan Bay in Wales. This equally applies to Brittany and the Scilly Islands off the Cornish coast. In the last 200-000 years sea levels have fluctuated by going up and going down. One of them is located at the end of the Ice Age, when sea levels changed by as much as 120m [but not all at once]. This has been measured, presumably, in the North Atlantic, where the ice played a significant role in the Late Glacial Maximum. The figure of 120m is then extrapolated across the whole globe – but has any serious investigation of this ever been carried out? Projection is a distinct feature of the article. Geologists assume the sea level was global as otherwise, they have no evidence of where the ice went. 

As an example of the sort of interpretation they provide, they mention a myth one group of Aborigines adhered to. They say at the time of rising sea levels [as the myth involved an inundation episode] these Aborigines bundled thousands of wooden spears to create a sort of wall to hold back the waves. The assumption is that it was a slow process of inundation – and the Aborigines were loathe to move elsewhere [out of the way]. They must also have spent years fashioning spears just to set up as a wall. Why not use branches or tree trunks. It does not make a lot of sense. However, the fact the myth includes hundreds of spears gives us a clue of what was going on. A heavy meteor bombardment.

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