Sea‐Level Change

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Sea level has fluctuated dramatically over the past hundred millennia, from a sea‐level highstand several meters above present approximately 125,000 years ago to 120 m below present about 20,000 years ago, with much of the evidence for early humans now under water. Across the globe, the archaeological dimension of sea‐level change and changing coastal configuration is manifest in the human settlement of continents and islands, and development of early coastal economies. New insights on the antiquity and importance of changing marine ecosystems in human evolution are emerging from submerged archaeological sites, modern and ancient human DNA, and human (isotopic) biochemistry. With modern sea‐level trends indicating an increase in the rate of sea‐level rise relative to the last few thousand years, the archaeological record provides a useful insight into how humans may have responded to past changes in sea level.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Encyclopedia of Archaeological Sciences
EditorsSandra L. López Varela
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9780470674611
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2018


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