> Any suggested reading, John? Has the popular book been written yet?
Mark, the recent book "Eden in the East", by Stephen Oppenheimer is
excellent on the issue of sea level rises. He takes recent evidence
of Juris Zarins "The Early Settlement of Southern Mesopotamia: A
Review of Recent Historical, Geological and Archaeological Research"
in the Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol 112 no 2, 1992,
and Kurt Lambeck "Shoreline Reconstrictions of the Persian Gulf since
the Last Glacial Maximums" in Earth and Planetary Science Letters,
vol 142, 1996, Paul Blanchon and John Shaw's "Reef Drowning during
the Last ZDeglaciation:Evidence for Catastrophic Sea Level Rise and
Ice Sheat Collapse" in Geology vol 23, no 1 Jan 1995, and P. Larcombe
et al, "New Evidence for Episodic Post Glacial Sea Level Rise,
Central Great Barrier Reef, Australia" in Marine Geology vol 125
1995. While his argument about the Austronesian Urheimat being the
drowned Sundaland is questionable his findings on the Ice Age and the
three floods is very accurate.
12,000 BCE Sea levels 100m below current levels stablized to 55
metres with the Younger Dryas cold snap about 9,500 BCE.
9,300 BCE to 8,300 BCE there was another spurt from 55 metres to 27
Pitman and Ryan's book on the flooding of the Black Sea seems to have
been early in the Third and final flood, when sea levels rose to
stabilize for a time at 5 metres above current levels before falling
back to current levels at about 2,000 BCE.
These movements are made more complex in different locations by
eustatic changes (caused by the release of weight of Ice over
Scandinavia and Northern Canada), which has caused Scandinavia and
Northern Europe to Rise and Holland and the Fenlands to fall in
compensation. In the Black Sea the increased weight of the water
caused Eustatic movements downwards, with Anatolia and certain Greek
locations to rise. The Hellenistic port of Pirene is now well inland.
For a good graph of the climatic Sahara, the Times Atlas of
Archaeology is a good source.
Hope this helps