The Storegga tsunami c.6150 BC - a wave of destruction and the start of something new?

Project Details


Popularly referred to as the Storegga landslide, it caused a tsunami which inundated coastal areas both sides of the North Sea about 8200 years ago. The physical impacts of the tsunami have been thoroughly investigated by geologists and botanists. However, the societal and human consequences of this likely catastrophic event have not been systematically investigated. This is our project’s point of departure and primary objective.

It is assumed that the impacts of the tsunami were acutely felt by coastal hunter-gatherer groups. However, a tsunami only turns into a disaster if the societies experiencing it are ill equipped to handle its consequences. The way that individuals and communities recover from such an event can tell us a lot about that society; its potential vulnerability, social structures, institutions and inherent capacities.

The project will consider and explore both the immediate and long-term impact of the Storegga tsunami. Our primary aim is to develop new knowledge of societal structures, interaction human-landscape relations, knowledge transmission in technology, use of landscape zones, resources, and settlement in the Mesolithic. The project is cross-disciplinary, combining archaeology, natural science and modern research on disasters.
Effective start/end date25/08/2020 → …