November 20, 2012 12:50 PM   Subscribe

Searching for Doggerland. "For decades North Sea boatmen have been dragging up traces of a vanished world in their nets. Now archaeologists are asking a timely question: What happens to people as their homeland disappears beneath a rising tide?"
posted by homunculus (10 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
The last link was posted previously, btw.
posted by homunculus at 1:05 PM on November 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Archaeologists are asking, but all we have to do is keep on keepin' on and we'll have their answer.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:11 PM on November 20, 2012

The crew I used to SCUBA dive with joked about someday diving Miami, Charleston, New York.

They sound less like jokes, now.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:22 PM on November 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

Once thought of as a largely uninhabited land bridge between modern-day continental Europe and Britain—a place on the way to somewhere else

This seems like a really strange thought. Like saying it's strange people live in Singapore, because it's on the the way to Malaysia.
posted by lstanley at 1:32 PM on November 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh cool, I've just been teaching about this stuff. The trick with the underwater archaeology of ancient times is the evidence is nowhere near as visible as it is for the typical site type of underwater archaeology" the shipwreck. Figuring out where the stuff is is a tricky juggling of two probabilities: where people left stuff on the now drowned landform, and where it would have survived the dynamic process of sea level rise over top of it. So it's quite a bit more challenging than shipwreck archaeology and requires the latest in imaging tools like multibeam swath bathymetry.

Speaking of the Americas - there's been interesting work on the continental shelf off Florida, mostly by a guy called Michael Faught - you can download some of his publications here.

lstanley -- that is exactly the problem with speaking of the "Bering Land Bridge" as well, as though people had to get in single file to cross it. In fact it was a subcontinent the size of western Canada, and very much a place to be in its own right. Thinking of it as a "bridge" (necessarily a means to the end of getting from A to B) has really stunted peoples' understanding of the processes by which people first came to the Americas. Good to see that being recognized in Doggerland as well.
posted by Rumple at 1:36 PM on November 20, 2012 [11 favorites]

If you live in San Francisco, it's kind of amazing to think that during the last ice age, the shoreline was 20 miles away from Ocean Beach, way out past the Farallon islands. I imagine all the cool remnants of the first people here are way out under the sea now.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 2:43 PM on November 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

The coastline where I live in the North-West of England has moved in and out, just like that of Northern California, I guess. At the moment there are places where the sea is uncovering some 5000-year old sediments and you can pop down to the beach at low tide and find footprints of deer, aurochs, wading birds and the local hunter-gatherers in the mud, visible for a few hours before they are washed away forever. It's pretty neat.
posted by nowonmai at 4:01 PM on November 20, 2012 [4 favorites]

nowonmai, if you are near Formby Pt., here is a youtube excerpt for you, as well as a little web page, via my own little self-link.
posted by Rumple at 4:39 PM on November 20, 2012 [5 favorites]

That's the spot indeed, Rumple. I was lucky enough to attend a guided tour led by Gordon Roberts (featured in your second link) last summer. He's an eloquent, erudite and funny man, able to paint a wonderfully vivid picture of the distant past.
posted by nowonmai at 3:34 AM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

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