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Vulnerable Hunter-Gatherer-Fishers in Mesolithic Norway? Discussing the Social Impact of the Storegga Tsunami 8200 Years ago

Nyland, Astrid

My talk and essay present a new research project starting in January 2021 (https://www.uis.no/en/life-after-storegga-tsunami-last). Our focus is the social impact of the Storegga tsunami that battered the western coast of Norway and eastern Scotland in 8200 BP, which was caused by a massive submarine landslide off the coast of central Norway and affected both sides of the North Sea.

 Our main concern is that, whereas the range and physical impact of the wave have been identified by geologists and palaeobotanists (e.g. Bondevik et al. 2012; Bondevik et al. 2005; Prøsch-Danielsen 2006), the social impacts of the wave have not been systematically investigated. Despite this, in archaeological literature the event is generally referred to as a disaster or catastrophe. That is, we know why, when and where the tsunami hit, but what were its social consequences? Our aim is to learn more about Mesolithic societies through the study of this large-scale natural event.

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