26
Feb
09

Sinking cities, jaguars, and dragons

No, not really dragons, but that’s all that is missing here. I guess I could talk about a little mythology or Terry Pratchett just to make the title honest, but hey, it got your attention.

First on the topic of sunken cities, you know, the whole Atlantis thing; I was reading this article and got to thinking about something I’ve known, but many people don’t seem to. Lots of ancient cities are to be found in 10-20 ft of water. Why might this be? Well, for starters, the sea level has been rising for the last 15,000 years; considering the earliest cities are after 6,000 years ago, that means sea levels were rising since their founding. As a result, what were coastal cities several thousand years ago are now under water. Couple this with subsurface erosion and subsidence, you can have a rather large patch of land sink to a dozen meters below water or so. Many ancient coastal cities, as a result, would be found under water…

Next up, jaguars! Sorry, I meant “jaguars!” Talk about pissing off the wrong Aztec god. We have jaguars returning to the United States; one of them has even been captured and has a shiny radio collar now. My wonderful girlfriend brought that to my attention, everyone thank her!

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1 Response to “Sinking cities, jaguars, and dragons”


  1. March 31, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Also, cities especially in ancient societies were much more likely to be built on the coast than elsewhere. Water sources are important. Even in modern times most cities are built near either a river or a coastal area and coastal cities are more likely to grow and prosper. So one doesn’t have large cities scattered all over the surface of the Earth in a random fashion. There is a major bias towards the coasts.


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