The Info List - Doggerland

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DOGGERLAND was an area now beneath the southern North Sea
North Sea
that connected Great Britain
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.

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
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
North Sea
, with a large proglacial lake in the southern part fed by the Rhine
, Scheldt and Thames
river systems. The catastrophic overflow of this lake carved a channel through the anticline, leading to the formation of the Channel River , which carried the combined Scheldt
and Thames
to 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
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
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 and English Channel
English Channel
extended east from East Anglia then south-east to the Hook of Holland , rather than across the Strait of Dover. The Seine
, Thames
, Meuse , Scheldt
and Rhine
rivers joined and flowed west along the English Channel
English Channel
as a wide slow river before eventually reaching the Atlantic Ocean
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 Mesolithic

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 Birmingham geologist Frederick William Shotton .


The red line marks Dogger Bank , which is most likely a moraine formed in the Pleistocene

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. Doggerland
eventually 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
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 Doggerland
and make Britain an island.


Woolly mammoth
Woolly mammoth
skull discovered by fishermen in the North Sea
North Sea
, at Celtic and Prehistoric Museum, Ireland

The prehistoric existence of what is now known as Doggerland
was 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 Surrey
and 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
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 exploration.

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 Doggerland
by the universities of St Andrews , Dundee , and Aberdeen , including artefacts survey results, were displayed at the Royal Society
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.


* 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 Sea. * The area featured in a 2007 episode of the Channel 4
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
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
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.


* Maglemosian culture * Outburst flood * Viking Bergen Island * Weald–Artois Anticline
Weald–Artois Anticline


* ^ "The Doggerland
Project", University of Exeter
University of Exeter
Department of Archaeology * ^ A B C D Patterson, W, "Coastal Catastrophe" (paleoclimate research document), University of Saskatchewan Archived 9 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine
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
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 of Doggerland
by the Storegga Slide tsunami, Documenta Praehistorica XXXV, 2008 * ^ Britain's Stone Age Tsunami, Channel 4
Channel 4
, 8 to 9 pm, Thursday 30 May 2013 * ^ 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 January 2010. * ^ 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 Doggerland: The 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 2017-05-08. * ^ 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 :10.1017/S0079497X00002176 . * Gaffney, V.; Thomson, K.; Fitch, S., eds. (2007). Mapping Doggerland: The Mesolithic
Landscapes of the Southern North Sea. Archaeopress. * Gaffney, Vincent; Fitch, Simon; Smith, David (2009). The Rediscovery of Doggerland. Council for British Archaeology. ISBN 1-902771-77-X . * Moffat, Alistair (2005). Before Scotland: The Story of Scotland Before History. Thames