A group of scientists have uncovered new evidence that the island of Crete was hit by a massive tsunami at the same time that Minoan culture disappeared.
Until about 3,500 years ago, a spectacular ancient civilisation was flourishing in the Eastern Mediterranean. The ancient Minoans were building palaces, paved streets and sewers, while most Europeans were still living in primitive huts.
But around 1500BC the people who spawned the myths of the Minotaur and the Labyrinth abruptly disappeared. Now the mystery of their cataclysmic end may finally have been solved.
"The geo-archaeological deposits contain a number of distinct tsunami signatures," says Dutch-born geologist Professor Hendrik Bruins of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.
"The latter can only have been scooped up from the sea-bed by one mechanism - a powerful tsunami, dumping all these materials together in a destructive swoop," says Professor Bruins. The deposits are up to seven metres above sea level, well above the normal reach of storm waves.
"An event of ferocious force hit the coast of Crete and this wasn't just a Mediterranean storm," says Professor Bruins. Link
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