Scientists Find Possible Traces of 'Lost' Stone Age Settlement Beneath the North Sea
Deep beneath the North Sea, scientists have discovered a fossilized forest that could hold traces of prehistoric early humans who lived there around 10,000 years ago, before the land slipped beneath the waves a few thousand years later.
The discovery gives the researchers new hope in their search for “lost” Middle Stone Age — or Mesolithic — settlements of hunter-gatherers, because the find shows that they have found a particular type of exposed ancient landscape.
The scientists took sediment samples from the submerged fossilized forest during their 11-day voyage in the North Sea aboard the research ship RV Belgica, in the Doggerland region known as Brown Bank or Brown Ridge. The scientists say they are certain they are close to finding traces of a prehistoric human settlement in the submerged lands. Read more.
Thriving Plateau Region That Slipped Beneath North Sea 8,000 Years Ago Reveals Its Secrets
A vast plateau of land between England and the Netherlands was once full of life before it sank beneath what is now the North Sea some 8,000 years ago. Archaeologists now hope to find out what the vast landscape looked like before it slipped beneath the salty water so long ago.
To do this, they’ve hauled up cores of sediment from the bottom of the North Sea in an area called Doggerland. It’s named for the shoal called Dogger Bank in the southern part of the North Sea, which in turn is named for a type of medieval Dutch fishing boat called a dogger. The land became ice-free about 12,000 years ago, after the end of the last ice age.
More recently, about 8,000 years ago, the plateau of land between what is now the east of England and the Netherlands was flooded by the sea. This brought an end to the forests and animal life that had colonized the region from other parts of Europe, including early human communities. Read more.
16th-century shipwreck discovered by investigators looking for missing shipping containers
Dutch maritime investigators searching for missing containers washed overboard during a North Sea storm have accidentally stumbled on a 16th-century shipwreck, the oldest such a find to date, officials revealed on Wednesday.
The wreck was discovered during a search for missing containers from the Panama-registered MSC Zoe, which lost almost 350 containers while battling a heavy storm in early January.
Tonnes of debris littered beaches on the Frisian islands, an archipelago off the northern Dutch coast, after the mishap.
But while scouring a busy shipping lane for the missing containers, salvage crews found copper plates and wooden beams from a vessel with a smooth hull approximately 30 metres (98 feet long). Read more.