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    Archaeological evidence that a late 14th-century tsunami devastated the coast of northern Sumatra and redirected history


    Daly, Patrick and Sieh, Kerry and Seng, Tai Yew and McKinnon, Edmund Edwards and Parnell, Andrew and Ardiansyah and Feener, R Michael and Ismail, Nazli and Nizamuddin and Majewski, Jedrzej (2019) Archaeological evidence that a late 14th-century tsunami devastated the coast of northern Sumatra and redirected history. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116 (24). pp. 11679-11686. ISSN 1091-6490

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    Abstract

    Archaeological evidence shows that a predecessor of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami devastated nine distinct communities along a 40-km section of the northern coast of Sumatra in about 1394 CE. Our evidence is the spatial and temporal distribution of tens of thousands of medieval ceramic sherds and over 5,000 carved gravestones, collected and recorded during a systematic landscape archaeology survey near the modern city of Banda Aceh. Only the trading settlement of Lamri, perched on a headland above the reach of the tsunami, survived into and through the subsequent 15th century. It is of historical and political interest that by the 16th century, however, Lamri was abandoned, while low-lying coastal sites destroyed by the 1394 tsunami were resettled as the population center of the new economically and politically ascendant Aceh Sultanate. Our evidence implies that the 1394 tsunami was large enough to impact severely many of the areas inundated by the 2004 tsunami and to provoke a significant reconfiguration of the region’s political and economic landscape that shaped the history of the region in subsequent centuries.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/. Cite as: Archaeological evidence that a late 14th-century tsunami devastated the coast of northern Sumatra and redirected history Patrick Daly, Kerry Sieh, Tai Yew Seng, Edmund Edwards McKinnon, Andrew C. Parnell, Ardiansyah , R. Michael Feener, Nazli Ismail, Nizamuddin , Jedrzej Majewski Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Jun 2019, 116 (24) 11679-11686; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1902241116
    Keywords: tsunami; Sumatra; Aceh; postdisaster; recovery; hazards;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Research Institutes > Hamilton Institute
    Item ID: 14028
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1902241116
    Depositing User: Andrew Parnell
    Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2021 16:59
    Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
    Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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