|~11000 - ~9500 BC|
|Stone Age twilight: 'hunting & gathering' . . .|
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|Start of current 'inter-glacial' period (in a time-frame used by glaciologists), though often referred to as 'late-glacial' for the benefit of us mere mortals living in the modern world . . . end of the 'Old Stone Age' (or Paleolithic) . . . final retreat of glaciers . . . more land habitable . . . mainly cave-dwelling . . . fire & flint (latter crudely worked) in common use . . . spears (flints attached to shafts cut from the dense woodlands) in use . . . bones / antlers carved & decorated . . . later use of crude huts . . . but always following the wild herds & seasonal fruits . . . very early 'Mesolithic' (middle stone age) culture by ~9500BC . . .|
|~13000 BC onwards: breaking of
the last 'Great Ice Age'. (thought to be at its most intense circa 18000 BC) *
glacier retreat * climate becoming much warmer than today's conditions * as ice
sheets melt, land rises (less weight) - but so does the sea-level (due melting
glacier ice & thermal expansion of water) BUT sea-levels overall are
lower than they are today by at least 100 m * what are now Britain &
Ireland joined, and whole connected to near-continent * northward migration of
plant / animal species taking advantage of increased warmth (& higher
humidity) * increased vigour of convection & increasing surface area of sea
would imply greater rainfall / snowfall * extensive post-glacial flooding, with
soil-moisture levels high.
~11000 BC: sharp downturn in temperature (Younger Dryas): drop at least 15C in winter & 4C in summer over a period of just 50 - 100 years * North Atlantic 'polar front' extended much further south to around 45degN * changes in oceanic currents * bitterly cold / dry / windy.
~10500 BC: suggested peak of Younger Dryas reversal * average mid-winter temperatures -16 to -20degC; average high-summer temperatures 8 to 12degC: average summer temperatures estimated to be ~5degC below present (i.e. late 20th / early 21st century) values * winter-time values much lower * glaciers upland northern regions * temperatures much lower than anything in the Little Ice Age (q.v.).
~9600 BC: abrupt improvement around this time, perhaps over a period 50-200 yr * by 9500 BC, conditions back to pre-YD levels, with increased precipitation, notably warmer & sea-levels higher.
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