Saturday, August 16, 2014

Doggerland - Landmass in the Southern North Sea


Doggerland, a landmass in the southern North Sea,is connected to Great Britain to the mainland Europe, during and later in the last Ice Age till about 6,500 or 6,200 BC.

It is an area between Northern Scotland, Denmark and the Channel Islands. It gradually got flooded due to the rising sea levels and according to geological surveys, it stretches from Britain’s east coast to the Netherlands and the western coasts of Germany and Denmark.

It was presumed to be a rich habitat of humans during the Mesolithic era and a home to tens of thousands of people before it disappeared under water due to the rising levels which reduced it to low lying islands before it was totally abandoned, followed by a tsunami which was caused by the Storegga Slide.

Its history has been collected and put together by artifacts that have been discovered from the seabed and are displayed in London.

 The Doggerlands’ story is all about a land which gradually got submerged by water between 18,000 BC and 5,500 BC which was organised by geophysicist, Dr Richard Bates at St. Andrews University.

He states that `Doggerland was the real heartland of Europe till sea levels rose to give them, the UK coastline of today’.

Remodel the Flora and Fauna

He further went on to add that for years they had been speculating on the existence of the lost land from bones dredged by fishermen all across the North Sea though it was only after working with oil companies that they were able to re-create what the lost land looked like.

 When the data was first processed, it did not give much useful information but as more areas were unearthed it revealed a vast and complex landscape.

They have now been able to remodel the flora and fauna, build up image of the ancient people which lived there and have begun to understand a few of the dramatic events which changed the land, inclusive of the devastating tsunami and the rising sea level.

The ancient tree stumps, flint that was used by the humans together with the fossilised remains of a mammoth proved to be helpful in forming an image of how the landscape would have looked like.

Investigation Continues for More Evidence

From the findings gathered, it indicated a picture of a land with valleys and hills with large swamps and lakes having major rivers dissecting a complex coastline and as the sea level increased, the hills would have become an isolated archipelago of low islands.

On examining the fossil records it gave some insight on the type of vegetation that grew in Doggerland and which animals were found in that area.

Based on the information they were in a position to get an understanding of the capacity of the land and how many inhabitants could have been there. Rediscovering the Doggerland through scientific research, it indicates a dramatic past featuring massive climate changes. Further investigations are still on by the research team for more evidence of human behaviour which includes the possible human burial sites, standing stones as well as a mass mammoth grave.

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