It was a time when stone-age hunter gatherers were spreading across northern Europe and into Britain as the glaciers of the last ice age retreated.
But just as these mesolithic tribes were settling in these newly uncovered areas a giant tsunami triggered by an underwater landslide off the coast of Norway devastated large parts of Europe.
Waves of up to 65 feet (20 metres) are thought to have smashed into Iceland, Greenland, Norway Scotland and parts of England’s northern coastline.
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Scientists have now uncovered evidence that shows just how powerful these huge waves were and the huge area that they effected.
Sediment discovered on the south west coast of Denmark shows the waves spread out across the Norwegian Sea and penetrated deep into the North Sea.
COLLAPSE OF VOLCANO TRIGGERED MEGA TSUNAMI 73,000 YEARS AGO
A tsunami of biblical proportions triggered by the sudden collapse of a volcano generated a wave nearly 1,000ft high, scientists have discovered.
The event occurred 73,000 years ago in the Cape Verde Islands off west Africa, long before there were any coastal cities that might have been flattened by the deluge.
But some experts fear a similar giant collapse could present a real threat today, especially around volcanic islands.
The ancient collapse occurred at Fogo, one of the world’s largest and most active island volcanoes that today towers more than 9,000ft (2,743m) above sea level.
An estimated 40 cubic miles (167 cubic kilometres) of rock fell into the ocean at once, resulting in an 800ft (244m) high tsunami that engulfed an island more than 30 miles away (48km).
By comparison, the largest known recent tsunamis, which devastated Indian ocean coasts in 2004 and eastern Japan in 2011, attained maximum heights of around 100ft (30m).
Waves of at least six feet tall (2m) would have been powerful enough to sweep people off their feet if they had been unfortunate enough to be standing on the Danish coast at the time.
Writing in the journal Geology, Dr Mikkel Freurgaard, a geologist at the University of Copenhagen and his colleagues who conducted the study, said: ‘Our results demonstrate that the Storegga tsunami propagated 900–1000 km (559-621 miles) across the shallow continental shelf of the North Sea.