STONE AGE TSUNAMI KILLED ANCIENT IRISH; Wave May Have Wiped out First Humans

The Mirror (London, England), May 9, 2012 | Go to article overview

STONE AGE TSUNAMI KILLED ANCIENT IRISH; Wave May Have Wiped out First Humans


Byline: ANDREW HAMILTON

A GIANT Stone Age tsunami may have wiped out the first tribes of Irish people.

Archaeologists in the Burren in Co Clare have unearthed one of the oldest records of human life ever found in Ireland.

Radiocarbon dating of a shellfish cooking area or "midden" located on Fanore Beach have revealed it to be at least 6,000 years old - hundreds of years older than the nearby Poulnabrone dolmen.

Excavation on the site has also revealed a mysterious black layer of organic material which archeologists believe may be the results of a Stone Age tsunami which bashed the West Clare coast.

This substance, which is two or three inches deep, disintegrates when it comes in contact with air.

A large slab of this material has remained intact on an ancient settlement and indicates a large amount of it was laid down at once, possibly as the result of a tsunami.

Field monument advisor for Co Clare Michael Lynch said: "If we can establish a date for this material it will help us to piece together more of the mystery of this site.

"It could also tell us a bit about what happened here that brought the use of the We midden to an end.

"It is possible this is the result of a major climatic event, a massive storm or possibly a tsunami, or some other major event of that sort which would have thrown up a large amount of debris all at the one time. …

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