University of York

Grid makes a SPLASH in underwater archaeology



Submerged beneath the waves lies a large part of human history.

For our ancestors, the ancient coastlines were attractive places to settle and experiment with what became the foundations of civilization.

As the major glaciers melted between sixteen and six thousand years ago, these sites — where people first began to make fishing equipment, build boats and create permanent settlements — became engulfed by the rising seas.

But rather than destroying these ancient landscapes, the rising sea level instead preserved many of them, and with them many details in the story of our past.

“We have a lot to learn by looking under-water. There are many sites to discover and examine, and preservation is in fact often better than on land,” says Geoff Bailey, at the Department of Archaeology, University of York, UK.

“There are large gaps in our general knowledge of early history.”