doggerland Mesolithic migration
Exploring lands and livelihoods lost under the North Sea
, Hara ie log
M: Chris Sayer (top) / LAKD
The dramatic impact of flooding on modern British communities was all too clear at the start of this year. But how did our prehistoric predecessors respond to the inundations that transformed their surroundings and drove them from their homes at the end of the last Ice Age? Jim leary reports.
The recent flood of desperate migrants and refugees entering Europe from Syria and other wartorn countries (the largest movement of individuals and groups of people into Europe since the end of the Second World War) has dominated the news and provoked much debate. Less frequently discussed, perhaps, is what the impact that the loss of one’s homeland – that is, the loss of ‘place’ – might have on these uprooted groups.
Populations can also be displaced through environmental factors: the drastic consequences of modern climate-change are dramatically brought home by frequent footage of flooded homes, and landscapes disappearing beneath rising tides – some of the most striking and immediate images of increasing sea-levels. The loss of land to this encroachment also creates a ‘coastal squeeze’
above Overlooking the Wash, Norfolk. Around12,000 years ago, eastern England was joined to the Continent by a wide, flat plain known as Doggerland or Northsealand. Although these lands have long since been swallowed by the North Sea, archaeologists have uncovered traces of the people who once inhabited them. rIght Research divers explore the 5th millennium BC submerged Mesolithic settlement of Timmendorf-Nordmole, at Wismar Bay, Germany.
where, as more people are driven further inland, greater pressure is placed on the remaining landscape, exacerbating the sense of loss of place.
Rising sea-levels may seem a modern concern, but we have been through it many times before – sea-levels changed by as much as 100-150m over
current archaeology | www.archaeology.co.uk
January 2014 |
May 2016 |