RE: Sumer under water?

Glenn R. Morton (
Thu, 25 Jun 1998 05:18:23 -0500

At 11:37 PM 6/24/98 -0400, Dick Fischer wrote:
>Glenn wrote:
>>If you were to
>>suddenly uplift land out of the sea, in an area with rainfall it would
>>leach the salts. The less rain, the longer the time.
>A couple of things. You may have mentioned this, but how far below the
>surface were the oceanic fossils found?

At the NE edge of Hawr Al Hammar, the lake, they were 20 feet deep. There
is, however, probably not a lot of info from oil wells on this formation
because petroleum geologists rarely get to log such shallow sections. Our
bosses usually don't let us do it because there is rarely any commercial
oil buried only 20 feet deep. Wells are so expensive that they don't want
to spend useless monies on things this shallow.

It would be interesting to
>compare that depth with the depth Woolley reached when he excavated Ur
>before he ran out of artifacts. I think that would give us a means to
>estimate the date of submersion.

Not unless you can assume a constant depositional rate. In the middle of
the depositional basin, the rate would be the greatest and at the edges the
least. Also, we know from history that the shoreline was about 100 miles
further north in 696 BC. and we know that progradation is occurring at the
rate I cited the other day (it is early so I can't remember the number and
don't have time to look it up).

Also, it doesn't rain very often in
>Iraq, so how long would it take to leach away sea salt?

That would require a hydrological/geochemical calculation.

>There was enough salt washed out of the Armenian mountains in the
>irrigation process to increase the salinity of early cities to where
>the soil would no longer support crops. Early Eridu was abandoned after
>a few hundred years for that reason. This suggests that the mountains
>were also submerged, thus the salt, and that in turn suggests, perhaps,
>an earlier date for the submersion of Southern Mesopotamia than you
>proposed. Not criticizing, just exploring.

I can't look this up(I need to go to the airport), but if I recall there
are some salt beds in the sedimentary column in Turkey or the Zagros
mountains (I know there are some in the Zagros). This would be a great
source of salt.


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