Israel's sea level has been rising and falling over last 2,500 years, show scientists

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Washington, January 27 (ANI): In a new study, scientists have shown that the sea level in Israel has been rising and falling over the past 2,500 years, with a one-meter difference between the highest and lowest levels, most of the time below the present-day level.

The study was supervised by Dr. Dorit Sivan, Head of the Department of Maritime Civilizations at the University of Haifa in Israel.

In the present study, in light of earlier studies, research student Ayelet Toker and Dr. Sivan, set out to examine Israel's sea level over the past 2,500 years, based on data deduced from many coastal archaeological findings.

They made a careful selection of findings that have been reliably and accurately dated, and first focused on findings that were excavated by the Antiquities Authority in Acre of the Crusader period.

These revealed that the sea level during the Crusader period - just 800 years ago - was some 50-90 centimeters lower than the present sea level.

Findings from the same period at Caesarea and Atlit reinforced this conclusion.

When additional sites were examined from periods before and after the Crusader period, it was revealed that there have been significant fluctuations in sea level.

During the Hellenistic period, the sea level was about 1.6 meters lower than its present level; while during the Roman era the level was almost similar to todays.

The level began to drop again during the ancient Muslim period, and continued dropping to reach the same level as it was during the Crusader period.

But within about 500 years, it rose again, and reached some 25 centimeters lower than today's level at the beginning of the 18th century.

According to Dr. Sivan, "Over the past century, we have witnessed the sea level in Israel fluctuating with almost 19 centimeters between the highest and lowest levels."

"Over the past 50 years, Israel's mean sea level rise is 5.5 centimeters, but there have also been periods when it rose by 10 centimeters over 10 years," he said.

"That said, even acute ups and downs over short periods do not testify to long-term trends. An observation of the sea levels over hundreds and thousands of years shows that what seems a phenomenon today is as a matter of fact "nothing new under the sun", Dr. Sivan concluded. (ANI)

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