Summary of research presented in Current Anthropology.
A British researcher has published a startling new theory that the remains of untold ancient settlements from a 100,000-year stretch of human history were submerged by the rapidly rising waters of the Persian Gulf around 6,000 BC — the result, in all likelihood, of a catastrophic, planetwide flood triggered in Canada.
There's a consensus among scientists that the collapse of a kilometres-high glacial dam at the end of the last ice age caused a massive outflow of meltwater into the Arctic or North Atlantic Ocean near Hudson Bay, generating a sharp rise in sea levels around the world and profoundly altering the Earth's climate.
Some scientists have even speculated that ancient myths about great floods — culminating in the biblical story of Noah's Ark — were inspired by the worldwide deluge.
But the new theory, advanced in the latest issue of the journal Current Anthropology by University of Birmingham archeologist Jeffrey Rose, offers the clearest picture yet of what may have been lost at the Middle East nexus of human civilization when Canada's super-sized Lake Agassiz — a remnant of which is today's Lake Winnipeg — suddenly burst its banks 8,000 years ago.
The resulting rise of the Indian Ocean flooded a Great Britain-sized expanse of the Arabian Peninsula that had previously been above water and was almost certainly inhabited by ancient peoples for as long as 100 millennia, Rose stated.
The rising water created the present-day Persian Gulf and drowned shorelines around the peninsula, along the northeast coast of Africa and elsewhere around the world.