September 19, 2015

"Once upon a time, a lush landscape covered what is now the North Sea."

Financial Times Doggerland, as it’s known today, was rich in edible plants, animals and fish — a perfect habitat for the Stone Age tribes who populated its gently undulating hills and meandering rivers, meadows and woodlands. by Clive Cookson

'As the sea level rose during the global warming that followed the last ice age from around 12,000 years ago, Doggerland gradually shrank, with the last trace of land — an island whose subsea relic is Dogger Bank — disappearing beneath the waves 7,500 years ago.

'An ambitious archaeological programme, funded with a €2.5m grant from the European Research Council, aims to bring Doggerland back to life in a digital reconstruction.

'“The only populated lands on earth that have not yet been explored in any depth are those which have been lost underneath the sea,” says the project leader Vince Gaffney, professor of landscape archaeology at the University of Bradford. “Although archaeologists have known for a long time that ancient climatic change and sea-level rise must mean that Doggerland holds unique and important information about early human life in Europe, until now we have lacked the tools to investigate this area properly.”

'North Sea trawlers occasionally dragged up archaeological specimens from the seabed during the 20th century, including mammoth bones and stone tools, but there was no systematic survey. Doggerland was often dismissed as a land bridge between Britain and continental Europe, says Gaffney.'

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