Monday, 18 May 2009

The Lost World of Doggerland

"Pilgrim Lockwood, the skipper of a British fishing trawler named Colinda, wasn’t quite sure what to make of the thing his nets had scraped up from the bottom of the North Sea. Just over 21 centimetres long, it was made of antler with a set of barbs running along one side. Back on land, Lockwood gave the artefact to the ship’s owner, and it eventually made its way to a museum in Norwich, UK. It turned out to be a prehistoric harpoon point dating to the Mesolithic period, between about 4,000 and 10,000 years ago.

That was 1931, and archaeologists studying the artefact, which became known as the Colinda point, began to realize that hunter-gatherers would once have roamed across a vast plain that connected Britain to the rest of Europe. But they had no idea what the plain looked like or what life would have been like for the harpoon’s makers. Now researchers have drawn the first map of that lost world, sketching out a 10,000-year-old landscape filled with marshes, rivers and lakes. It turns out that the region they call Doggerland may have been a sort of paradise for Mesolithic people." - Laura Spinney,

Also: Reclaiming Doggerland.