During the 20th century Milking Parlours were transmogrified into industrialised units churning out Sanitised Milk [with added antibiotics] that is filtered, pasteurised, homogenised and repackaged into convenient cartons for easy consumption.
Similarly, the 20th century saw the Hallowed Halls of Academia transmogrified into industrialised units churning out Sanitised Settled Science on a truly epic scale.
Although there are many striking similarities between these two industries it should be noted that Milking Parlours still process milk from Cows whilst the Hallowed Halls of Academia now specialise in processing Bull.
Arguably, the transmogrification of the Hallowed Halls of Academia began with the publication in London of Charles Lyell’s Principles of Geology between 1830 and 1833.
Therefore, it’s only fitting that the London Levels should falsify Charles Lyell’s gradualist Principles of Geology that are still regurgitated in the Hallowed Halls of Academia.
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The story of the London Levels begins with the drowning of Doggerland when the northern outflow channel was closed.
Doggerland was an area now beneath the southern North Sea that connected Great Britain to continental Europe…
The water levels of the Doggerland Lake are etched into remnant landscapes as four horizontal levels at Kincraig, Glen Roy and the Thames Valley.
The water levels of the Doggerland Lake are also etched into inland landscapes as incursion strandlines that the mainstream associate with proglacial lakes.
Recently, Fairburn and Bateman (2016) have presented detailed evidence for strandlines, mostly recessional, of Lake Humber in its northern sector.
They identify and describe a flight of eight terraces between 42m and 5m OD seemingly unaffected by isostatic movement and relating to a single body of water impounded by LGM North Sea ice that blocked the Humber Gap at c.17 ka.
Figure 8 . The extent of Lake Humber in relation to the limits of the Devensian ice sheets. Most of the high ground is formed by the escarpments, which all face west with dip slopes towards the east; but the Gringley ridge is a low bedrock feature formed across the Triassic succession. Strandline deposits are from Edwards, 1937.
Devensian Glaciers and Proglacial Lakes in Lincolnshire and Southern Yorkshire – Allan Straw – Mercian Geologist 2016 19 (1)
The rising waters of the Doggerland Lake eventually established a Southerly outflow channel that rapidly eroded to form the Dover Narrows.
This configuration was captured for posterity in Ptolemy’s Geographia.
Claudius Ptolemy (c. AD 100 – c. 170) was a Greek writer, known as a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology.
However, significant changes have occurred since the days of Ptolemy’s Geographia.
One of the more significant changes since Roman times has been the silting up of the Thames Valleys and [more generally] the widespread covering of Southern Britain with sand and gravel that [amongst many other things] now connects the Isle of Thanet with mainland Kent.
The Isle of Thanet lies at the most easterly point of Kent, England.
While in the past it was separated from the mainland by the 600-metre (2,000 ft) Wantsum Channel, it is no longer an island.
Throughout this time the Isle remained an island. The Wantsum Channel allowed ships to sail between the mainland and the island in calm waters. Gradually this silted up, and the last ship sailed through the Channel in 1672.
There are very clear indications that the sand and gravel arrived in two instalments.
Either way, the radiocarbon dating of the “dark grey organic horizon” [aka “clear black horizon”] diverges dramatically from the dating of Roman artefacts found blanketed in Dark Earth.
The iron content of the Brickearth deposits across Southern Britain suggests the second instalment of sand and gravel was enriched with Meteoric iron.
Brickearth is a superficial deposit of homogeneous loam or silt…
Brickearth typically occurs in discontinuous spreads, across southern England and South Wales, south of a line from Pembroke in the west to Essex in the east in depths of up to a metre.
Commercially useful deposits of about 2m to 4m thick are present in Kent, Hertfordshire and Hampshire, overlying chalk, Thanet Beds or London Clay.
There are extensive brickearth deposits in Kent, particularly on the North Downs dip slope and on the Hoo peninsula, sections of the Medway and Stour valleys.
The mineral content is critical in brickmaking and requires precise proportions of chalk, clay, and iron.
Brickearth requires little or no admixture of other materials to render it suitable for the manufacture of ‘stock bricks’
Meteoric iron, sometimes meteoritic iron, is a native metal found in meteorites and made from the elements iron and nickel mainly in the form of the mineral phases kamacite and taenite.
Meteoric iron makes up the bulk of iron meteorites but is also found in other meteorites.
Apart from minor amounts of telluric iron, meteoric iron is the only naturally occurring native metal of the element iron on the Earth’s surface.
Whilst the remains found in the sand and gravel covering the London Levels suggest the first instalment arrived as a tsunami which choked the [now buried] Thames channel with debris.
Whilst it is possible to determine the relative ages of the deposits of gravel laid down by one river, it is usually extremely difficult to correlate the deposits of different river systems.
The River Thames may be taken as an example of a river-system whose valley shows successive terraces, each with its deposit of gravel and “brickearth” or loam,
The terraces of the River Thames are arranged as illustrated in the diagrammatic section (Fig. 83).
a. The First Terrace, up to about 130 feet or more above the present level of the river, occurs notably on Dartford Heath. The gravel contains material derived from Glacial Drift, including Bunter quartzite and Corallian chert with the sponge Rhaxella. This chert is only known in situ near Brill and at Scarborough. Remains of mammoth and flint implements of Chellian and Acheulian types occur.
b. The Second or High Terrace (100 foot Terrace) yields implements of Chellian, Acheulian and possibly Mousterian types, especially at Swanscombe and other places between Dartford and Gravesend in Kent. Associated mollusc: include the extinct Unio Uttoralis, Neritina grateloupiana (with coloar markings) and Valvata antiqua, together with various living species. Animals include Elephas antiquus, E. primigenius (mammoth), rhinoceros, deer, lion, etc.
c. The Third or Middle Terrace (50 foot Terrace) has palaeolithic “floors,” and yields Mousterian implements. This terrace includes the famous brickearth of Ilford and the gravels and brickearth of Crayford. Mollusca include Corbicula fluminalis (now only found living in the Nile), and numerous others – nearly all living. Animals include Elephas antiquus and mammoth, rhinoceros, musk ox, marmot, etc.
d. The Fourth or Low Terrace (10-25 feet above sea-level) embraces the low-lying gravels of Kew, Richmond, etc. Doubtfully assigned to the period of Solutrian and Magdalenian implements.
e. The Buried Channel. Reaches a depth of up to 80 feet below present river-level (Charing Cross).
f. Alluvium (Holocene) consists of clay or silt, shell-marl, peat, sand and gravel, often in alternating layers.
Vivianite (phosphate of iron) is frequent.
Broad tracts of alluvium occur on either side of the river, and many parts of London are built on what were, until recently, islands separated by muddy creeks (Chelsea, Battersea, Westminster, etc.).
Fossils include many mammals not now living in these islands (elk, wolf and bear), but only one or two extinct (Irish elk).
Neolithic stone implements and remains of the Bronze and Iron Ages occur.
It should be noted that great caution is necessary in correlating isolated patches of gravel simply by their altitude above sea level.
Many quite large areas have been let down or slipped bodily to far lower levels than they formerly occupied.
An Introduction To Stratigraphy – British Isles – Laurence Dudley Stamp – 1923
Faringdon is the site of the noted Faringdon Sponge Gravel Member, part of the Cretaceous Lower Greensand Group.
It is rich in fossil sponges, other invertebrates, a few vertebrate bones and teeth, and good examples of bioerosion.
More specifically, the remains of Elephas Antiquus found in the sand and gravel covering the London Levels suggest the first instalment arrived during the 1st millennium.
Elephas antiquus, the straight-tusked elephant, an extinct species of elephant closely related to the living Asian elephant
The straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus) is an extinct species of elephant that inhabited Europe during the Middle and Late Pleistocene (781,000–50,000 years before present).
It was formerly thought to be closely related to the living Asian elephant; however, in 2016, DNA sequence analysis showed that its closest extant relative is actually the African forest elephant, L. cyclotis. In fact, it is closer to L. cyclotis than L. cyclotis is to the African bush elephant, L. africana, thus invalidating the genus Loxodonta as currently recognized.
Finds of isolated tusks are relatively common in the United Kingdom.
For example, a tusk of this elephant was found during the construction of the Swan Valley Community School in Swanscombe, Kent.
However, finds of whole or partial skeletons of this elephant are very rare.
Skeleton finds in the United Kingdom are known from only a few sites.
Two sites were found in the Lower Thames basin, one at Upnor, Kent and one at Aveley, Essex.
Intriguingly, initial indications suggest this possibility may have some validity because the North African forest elephant [that ranged across North Africa to the Red Sea] only became extinct [approximately] at the end of the 1st century.
However, if you enjoy a diet of Sanitised Settled Science then these suggestions are probably very unpalatable.