DOGGERLAND was an area now beneath the southern
North Sea that
Great Britain to continental Europe during and after the
last glacial period . It was flooded by rising sea levels around
6,500–6,200 BC. Geological surveys have suggested that it stretched
from Britain's east coast to the
Netherlands and the western coasts of
Germany and the peninsula of
Jutland . It was probably a rich habitat
with human habitation in the
Mesolithic period, although rising sea
levels gradually reduced it to low-lying islands before its final
submergence, possibly following a tsunami caused by the Storegga Slide
The archaeological potential of the area had first been identified in
the early 20th century, but interest intensified in 1931 when a
fishing trawler operating east of the Wash dragged up a barbed antler
point that was subsequently dated to a time when the area was tundra .
Vessels have dragged up remains of mammoth , lion and other animals,
as well as a few prehistoric tools and weapons.
Doggerland was named after the
Dogger Bank , which in turn was named
after the 17th century Dutch fishing boats called doggers .
* 1 Formation
* 2 Disappearance
* 3 Discovery and investigation by archaeologists
* 4 In popular culture
* 5 See also
* 6 References
* 7 Further reading
* 8 External links
Map showing hypothetical extent of
Doggerland from Weichselian
glaciation until the current situation.
Until the middle
Pleistocene , Britain was a peninsula of Europe,
connected by the massive chalk
Weald–Artois Anticline across the
Straits of Dover . During the
Anglian glaciation , approximately
450,000 years ago, an ice sheet filled much of the
North Sea , with a
large proglacial lake in the southern part fed by the
Rhine , Scheldt
Thames river systems. The catastrophic overflow of this lake
carved a channel through the anticline, leading to the formation of
Channel River , which carried the combined
the Atlantic. This probably created the potential for Britain to
become isolated from the continent during periods of high sea level,
although some scientists argue that the final break did not occur
until a second ice-dammed lake overflowed during the MIS 8 or MIS6
glaciations, around 340,000 or 240,000 years ago.
During the most recent glaciation of the
Last Glacial Maximum
Last Glacial Maximum , which
ended around 18,000 years ago, the
North Sea and much of the British
Isles were covered with glacial ice and the sea level was about 120 m
(390 ft) lower. Subsequently, the climate became warmer and during the
Late Glacial Maximum
Late Glacial Maximum around 12,000 BC Britain, as well as much of the
North Sea and English Channel, was an expanse of low-lying tundra .
Evidence, including the contours of the present seabed, indicates
that after the first main Ice Age, the watershed between the North Sea
English Channel extended east from East Anglia then south-east to
Hook of Holland , rather than across the Strait of Dover. The
Thames , Meuse ,
Rhine rivers joined and flowed
west along the
English Channel as a wide slow river before eventually
Atlantic Ocean . At about 10,000 BC the north-facing
coastal area of
Doggerland had a coastline of lagoons , saltmarshes ,
mudflats and beaches as well as inland streams, rivers, marshes and
lakes. It may have been the richest hunting, fowling and fishing
ground in Europe in the
One big river system found by 3D seismic survey was the "Shotton
River", which drained the south-east part of the
Dogger Bank hill area
into the east end of the
Outer Silver Pit lake. It is named after
Frederick William Shotton .
The red line marks
Dogger Bank , which is most likely a moraine
formed in the
As ice melted at the end of the last glacial period of the current
ice age , sea levels rose and the land began to tilt in an isostatic
adjustment as the huge weight of ice lessened.
became submerged, cutting off what was previously the British
peninsula from the European mainland by around 6500 BCE. The Dogger
Bank, an upland area of Doggerland, remained an island until at least
5000 BCE. Key stages are now believed to have included the gradual
evolution of a large tidal bay between eastern England and Dogger Bank
by 9000 BCE and a rapid sea-level rise thereafter, leading to Dogger
Bank becoming an island and
Great Britain becoming physically
disconnected from the continent.
A recent hypothesis postulates that much of the remaining coastal
land was flooded by a megatsunami around 6200 BCE, caused by a
submarine landslide off the coast of
Norway known as the Storegga
Slide . This suggests: "that the
Storegga Slide tsunami would have had
a catastrophic impact on the contemporary coastal Mesolithic
population.... Britain finally became separated from the continent and
in cultural terms, the
Mesolithic there goes its own way." A study
published in 2014 suggested that the only remaining parts of
Doggerland at the time of the
Storegga Slide were low-lying islands,
but supported the view that the area had been abandoned at about the
same time as the tsunamis.
Another view speculates that the Storegga tsunami devastated
Doggerland but then ebbed back into the sea, and that later Lake
Agassiz (in North America) burst releasing so much fresh water that
sea levels over about two years rose to flood much of
make Britain an island.
DISCOVERY AND INVESTIGATION BY ARCHAEOLOGISTS
Woolly mammoth skull discovered by fishermen in the
North Sea ,
at Celtic and Prehistoric Museum, Ireland
The prehistoric existence of what is now known as
established in the late 19th century.
H. G. Wells
H. G. Wells referred to the
concept in his short story
A Story of the Stone Age of 1897, set in "a
time when one might have walked dryshod from France (as we call it
now) to England, and when a broad and sluggish
Thames flowed through
its marshes to meet its father Rhine, flowing through a wide and level
country that is under water in these latter days, and which we know by
the name of the North Sea...Fifty thousand years ago it was, fifty
thousand years if the reckoning of geologists is correct", though most
of the action seems to occur in what is now
Kent , but
stretching out to Doggerland.
The remains of plants brought to the surface from
Dogger Bank were
studied in 1913 by paleobiologist
Clement Reid , and the remains of
animals and worked flints from the
Neolithic period had also been
found. In his book The Antiquity of Man of 1915, anatomist Sir Arthur
Keith discussed the archaeological potential of the area. In 1931,
the trawler Colinda hauled up a lump of peat whilst fishing near the
Ower Bank, 40 kilometres (25 mi) east of
Norfolk . The peat was found
to contain a barbed antler point, possibly used as a harpoon or fish
spear, 220 millimetres (8.5 in) long, which dated from between 4,000
and 10,000 BC when the area was tundra .
Interest was reinvigorated in the 1990s by Professor
Bryony Coles ,
who named the area "Doggerland" ("after the great banks in the
southern North Sea") and produced speculative maps of the area.
Although she recognised that the current relief of the southern North
Sea seabed is not a sound guide to the topography of Doggerland, this
topography has more recently begun to be reconstructed more
authoritatively using seismic survey data obtained from oil
A skull fragment of a
Neanderthal , dated at over 40,000 years old,
was recovered from material dredged from the Middeldiep, some 16
kilometres (10 mi) off the coast of
Zeeland , and exhibited in Leiden
in 2009. In March 2010 it was reported that recognition of the
potential archaeological importance of the area could affect the
future development of offshore wind farms .
In July 2012, the results of a fifteen-year study of
the universities of St Andrews , Dundee , and Aberdeen , including
artefacts survey results, were displayed at the
Royal Society in
London. Richard Bates of St Andrews University said:
We have speculated for years on the lost land's existence from bones
dredged by fishermen all over the North Sea, but it's only since
working with oil companies in the last few years that we have been
able to re-create what this lost land looked like.... We have now been
able to model its flora and fauna, build up a picture of the ancient
people that lived there and begin to understand some of the dramatic
events that subsequently changed the land, including the sea rising
and a devastating tsunami.
In September 2015, archaeologists at the University of Bradford
announced their project to chart
Doggerland in 3D, and to study DNA
from deep sea core samples.
IN POPULAR CULTURE
* The "
Mammoth Journey" episode of the BBC television programme
Walking with Beasts
Walking with Beasts is partly set on the dry bed of the southern North
* The area featured in a 2007 episode of the
Channel 4 Time Team
(specials) documentary series called "Britain's Drowned World".
* The first chapter of
Edward Rutherfurd 's novel Sarum describes
the flooding of Doggerland.
Science fiction author Stephen Baxter 's Northland trilogy is set
in an alternative timeline in which
Doggerland (Northland in the
books) is never inundated.
* The opening song of
Ian Anderson 's 2014 album,
Homo Erraticus ,
is titled "Doggerland," and provides a first person narrative from the
point of view of the prehistoric people who might have lived there.
Viking Bergen Island
* ^ "The
University of Exeter
University of Exeter Department of
* ^ A B C D Patterson, W, "Coastal Catastrophe" (paleoclimate
research document), University of Saskatchewan Archived 9 April 2008
Wayback Machine .
* ^ A B Rincon, Paul (1 May 2014). "Prehistoric North Sea
\'Atlantis\' hit by 5m tsunami". BBC News.
* ^ Mihai, Andrei (February 5, 2015). "
Doggerland – the land that
connected Europe and the UK 8000 years ago". ZME Science. Retrieved
February 18, 2015.
* ^ Pettitt, Paul; White, Mark (2012). The British Palaeolithic:
Human Societies at the Edge of the
Pleistocene World. Abingdon, UK:
Routledge. pp. 98–102, 277. ISBN 978-0-415-67455-3 .
* ^ A B C D University of Sussex, School of Life Sciences Archived
9 June 2011 at the
Wayback Machine ., C1119 Modern human evolution,
Lecture 6, slide 23
* ^ A B C D Vincent Gaffney, "Global Warming and Lost Lands:
Understanding the Effects of Sea Level Rise"
* ^ Stride, A.H (January 1959). "On the origin of the Dogger Bank,
in the North Sea". Geological magazine. 96 (1): 33–34. doi
:10.1017/S0016756800059197 . Retrieved 12 January 2010.
* ^ A B Scarre, Chris (2005). The Human Past: World Prehistory &
the Development of Human Societies. London:
Thames & Hudson. p. 180.
ISBN 978-0-500-28531-2 .
* ^ A B Bernhard Weninger et al., The catastrophic final flooding
Doggerland by the
Storegga Slide tsunami, Documenta Praehistorica
* ^ Britain's Stone Age Tsunami,
Channel 4 , 8 to 9 pm, Thursday 30
* ^ Online text
* ^ A B Keith, Arthur (15 August 2004). "3". The Antiquity of Man.
Anmol Publications Pvt Ltd. p. 41. ISBN 81-7041-977-8 . Retrieved 12
* ^ A B B.J. Coles. "
Doggerland : a speculative survey (Doggerland
: une prospection spéculative)", Proceedings of the Prehistoric
Society, ISSN 0079-497X, 1998, vol. 64, pp. 45–81 (3 p.1/4)
* ^ Laura Spinney, "The lost world: Doggerland"
* ^ Vincent Gaffney, Kenneth Thomson, Simon Fitch, Mapping
Mesolithic Landscapes of the Southern North Sea,
University of Birmingham, 2007
* ^ Vincent Gaffney, Simon Fitch, David Smith, Europe\'s Lost
World: The rediscovery of Doggerland, University of Birmingham, 2009
* ^ Palarch: Spectacular discovery of first-ever Dutch Neanderthal
Fossil skull fragment unveiled by Minister Plasterk in National Museum
of Antiquities, 15 June 2009
* ^ "Stone Age could complicate N. Sea wind farm plans", Reuters,
23 March 2010
* ^ A B BBC News, "Hidden
Doggerland underworld uncovered in North
Sea", 3 July 2012. Accessed 4 July 2012
* ^ App, Team. "Lost Frontiers (Lost Frontiers) Home page - Lost
Frontiers An Erc Research Project team/club based in University of
Bradford, United Kingdom. Team App". Lost Frontiers. Retrieved
* ^ Sarah Knapton (1 September 2015). "British Atlantis:
archaeologists begin exploring lost world of Doggerland". Daily
Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
* ^ Heritage Action
* Coles, B. J. (1998). "Doggerland: a Speculative Survey".
Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society . 64: 45–81. doi
* Gaffney, V.; Thomson, K.; Fitch, S., eds. (2007). Mapping
Mesolithic Landscapes of the Southern North Sea.
* Gaffney, Vincent; Fitch, Simon; Smith, David (2009). The
Rediscovery of Doggerland. Council for British Archaeology. ISBN
* Moffat, Alistair (2005). Before Scotland: The Story of Scotland