Here’s a lovely image of what the lost land of Doggerland may have looked like. Ynyshir in Ceredigion (Wales) has many habitats which are reminiscent of those in the Mesolithic, and pollen from many of the species present in this image has been found in core samples recovered from the North Sea. Many thanks to Denis Bates for image.
The project team have been delighted to find that the submerged landscape of Doggerland has recently been immortalised as a limerick. We hope this brightens your day as much as it did ours.
Back in Doggerland (landmass of old):
We were freezing our nuts off with cold.
But with warmth comes surprise,
For as sea levels rise
We’re seceding from Europe, I’m told.
by Andrew Burnett.
Note: Doggerland was a landmass in northern Europe, which existed from the end of the last Ice Age until about 6300BC. As the ice melted and the sea level rose, pasts of it were flooded, separating Britain from the European mainland.
To shape the limbs of the bow, a carving adze has had to be made. The shaft is in ash and the adze is carved from antler. It’s been lashed together using red deer leather which has been soaked for 24 hours. This is because on drying the leather clamps everything together tight and helps stop the shaft from splitting during usage. Now all that has to be done is to use it !
Our replicas are currently being created by the very talented Mark Keighley
We’re currently working hard surveying a submerged landscape in Orkney at the moment, we’ll be showing some of the results of this research at this years Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition. If you can’t wait till then, please enjoy the selection of photo’s of the survey in progress !
The small cat-survey vessel at work in the Bay of Firth
Drs Bates handcoring sediment from the RV Envoy in the Bay of Firth
Archaeological diver inspects large submerged stone structures offshore Orkney
Replic production for the exhibit continues apace - this week it’s a spot experimental archaeology in the form of bow making. At the moment, Mark has split the wood and is now being preparing for working the limbs of the bow. We’ll pop up more photo’s as the experiment progresses….
This is the development leading up to the science exhibition, demonstrating key features of the simple game of finding a location for our Mesolithic friends to live. Algorithums for the building of villages, agent navigation, scoring and leaderboard are all now done. All that remains is a small amount of fine tuning, so all looks good for gaming at the exhibition. See you there !
Some of the project team are currently undertaking geophysical survey at Happisburgh at the moment. Happisburgh is an important archaeological site, where stone tools showed that humans occupied the area some 800,000 years ago, and thus is the oldest evidence for human occupation anywhere in the UK. The current results are promising and the team also found a very interesting find whilst working, we’ll let you know what it is later……
Some of the exhibit team (from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David) are currently investigating a Prehistoric archaeological site within the submerged forest at Borth in Caeredigion. The site was found by Dr. Denis Bates in February and has now become the focus of an investigation led by Dr. Nigel Nayling and Dr. Martin Bates.
A series of burnt stones have been found resting on a peat bed that is at least 4,000 years old. Also associated with the site are a group of footprints, from both animals and humans. The human footprints range in size from a 4 year old (which are rare) to adult. Dr. Ros Coard, a specialist in animal and human bones, has been taking casts of these prints and hopes to be able to tell us something about the people and animals who were in this area during the Prehistoric period.
Over the next few days, at a time of exceptionally low tides, the team will be working against the clock to recover more evidence for this human activity and discover something about these people and how they used the forests and creeks of Borth in the past.
The Orkney team has spent a cold, windy and wet week in Orkney chasing down the elusive submerged landscapes of the Loch of Stenness. Stenness is a shallow loch next to the World Heritage sites of the Ring of Brodgar, Ness of Brodgar and Stones of Stenness so perfectly positioned to contain other important monuments. The work followed from the tantalising glimpse of possible drowned mounds and ditches discovered during survey work in September 2011 and also from previous coring of the loch. A number of new features were mapped that will now require inspection by divers later in the year (see images below).
Just to give everyone an idea of some of the other work going on at the moment and a bit of background to submerged landscapes, this is a short video by Vince Gaffney of the University of Birmingham discussing research into Doggerland.