Lost World Of Doggerland Set To Yield Secrets
Yorkshire researchers are close to discovering more about the lost world that lays deep beneath the North Sea.
The team at Bradford University is part of multi-institution effort to map Doggerland – a vast area once connecting Britain to North West Europe, once brimming with plants, wildlife and humans, and which was submerged after the last Ice Age.
Now ships have been sent into the zone to drill core samples in the sea bed in a £2.5m EU funded project called Europe’s Lost Frontiers which will yield vital DNA and pollen data allowing a 3D picture to be created of the world now under the sea.
The latest developments in this ambitious project will be revealed at a conference on Saturday (4 November) at York St John College, staged by PLACE, a charity promoting Yorkshire’s natural and cultural heritage and showcasing the latest academic research to the public.
Scientists hope to retrieve nearly a kilometre of samples from selected locations based on mapping which used seismic data donated by the oil and gas industry.
Professor Vincent Gaffney, from Bradford University, explained:
“Thanks to the initial mapping project developed here in Yorkshire we know a great deal about this lost land. We have identified 20 major estuaries, countless rivers, and a 300 square kilometre salt marsh, all in an area bigger than Holland.
"This was not so much a land bridge as a rich environment in itself, perfect for a hunter gathering existence. But what we want to do is discover what grew here, what did the landscape actually look like and are there clues about human habitation?”
Doggerland was first identified as a lost landscape over a century ago, with trawlers occasionally netting archaeological remains, including a woolly mammoth skull. HG Wells was aware of the theory and alluded to it in one of his short stories. So far 80 core samples have been collected with the project set to continue for another three years.
The York conference is being organised with the Royal Geographical Society and takes the theme of landscapes. Other speakers will reflect on wind turbines and solar farms, the effect of climate change on the moors of Ecuador and our nostalgia for vanished landscapes.
Lost World Of Doggerland Set To Yield Secrets, 6th November 2017, 14:39 PM