EVIDENCE of Britain’s very own ‘Atlantis’ has been found deep in the North Sea as scientists think they have discovered two Stone Age settlement sites on the banks of a drowned ancient river.
The evidence comes in the form of two stone artefacts that could be over 10,000 years old and this is the first time an archaeological expedition has found such precious prehistoric treasures so far from land and so deep under water.
It has been known for fisherman to accidentally trawl up prehistoric artefacts in the North Sea but the seabeds that they came from have never been archaeologically assessed.
A team of archaeologists from the UK and Belgium travelled 25 miles north of a village in Norfolk called Blakeney and found two stone artefacts, which they consider to be highly significant, quite near each other on either side of an ancient river bed deep under the sea.
These areas were deliberately targeted as the scientists used their knowledge of what Stone Age settlement sites are like on land.
Not only did they strike archaeological “gold” when they found the artefacts while taking sediment samples, but they also think they’ve worked out why Stone Age humans were so attracted to these areas that were likely swallowed by the sea around 6,000 BC.
Stone Age people were hunters and gatherers[/caption]
This is a mock up image of the layout of Britain’s “Atlantis”[/caption]
The potential settlements could have existed for a long time before they were eventually drowned and could be dated anywhere between 8200 and 7700 BC.
Sediment samples have provided pollen and other environmental evidence that suggest that the now submerged areas would have once been vast landscapes of plants and animals.
This would have been perfect for Mesolithic hunter-gathers in the Stone Age and their settlement location right next to the river would have been great for fresh water and fishing.
There is also evidence of an area nearby that could have provided the prehistoric people with flint for their stone tools.
This Stone Age settlement in Scotland could indicate what the sites would have looked like in real life[/caption]
One of the artefacts found was actually a large hammer stone, which archaeologists think was used for making new tools.
The researchers now think that the two sites they have stumbled upon where being used as stone tool making bases.
The second artefact found on the other side of the ancient river bed was a two millimetre thick flake of flint that the archaeologists think was cut off when a stone tool was being made.
Sediments samples taken from the North Sea revealed prehistoric stone artefacts[/caption]
What was it like in Britain in the Stone Age?
Here's what you need to know about our prehistoric ancestors…
- The Stone Age was a prehistoric period in which ancient people would mostly use stone to create tools
- It lasted for around 3.4 million years and ended around 8700 to 2000 BC
- It was followed by the Bronze Age
- At the British “Atlantis” settlements the Stone Age people could have been hunting all sorts of animals from deer and wild cattle to seals and fish
- The area would have been covered in rich grasslands with lot of plants to gather and a variety of bird eggs to collect
- Stone Age people mostly used stone tools and spears but also made baskets from reeds and wore animal skins for warmth
- Stone Henge is one of Britian’s most famous sites and is an example of late Stone Age ceremonial practices
The next stage of the archaeological excavation will involve an unmanned mini submarine, which will take a closer look at the sea bed and maybe even use its robotic arms to collect any artefacts that are spotted.
After this stage, divers may be sent down 32 metres to the seabed for a proper excavation.
It is thought that the settlements, like a lot of Stone Age sites, drowned when the North Sea was formed due to lots of ice melting after the Ice Age.
This ongoing excavation will hopefully teach us a lot more about what life was like back then.
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In other news, the remains of a medieval man who had his skull shattered have been found buried in the hidden ‘Hall of Bones’ under a UK church.
The ‘world’s first Cheerios’ have been discovered after 3,000-year-old ‘cereal rings’ were found buried in an ancient fort.
And, a ‘missing link’ in human evolution has been found after 30,000-year-old remains were dug up.
Are you impressed by this Stone Age discovery? Let us know in the comments…