About one and half a century ago, fisherman operating off the Dutch coast adopted a new technique called beam trawling. Across the seafloor, they dragged weighted nets to catch many bottom feeding fish. But sometimes they managed to dredge up tusks, barbed antlers, huge bones and remains of woolly rhinos and other extinct animals.
This made the fisherman wonder if the place was always a sea or whether it had been land many thousands of years before. This evidence piqued the interest of geologists, paleontologists and archaeologists. Since then, vessels have dredged up remains of lions, mammoths and other land animals which only reinforced the belief that this place was a land in pre - historic times.
This former landmass that connected Great Britain to the rest of the Europe has been named as Doggerland by the archaeologists. At present, it has been submerged by the North Sea. From geological surveys, it can be established that Doggerland was a large mass of dry land, inhabited by humans. It was mostly an undulating plain that contained a meandering network of rivers and streams. It stretched from the east coast of Britain, to the present coast of Netherlands and the western coasts of Denmark and Germany. It survived till about 6000 B.C.E. and was submerged with rising sea levels after the last Ice Age. It is also anticipated that in the Mesolithic era, Doggerland was a land populated by humans.
On the beach at Hartlepool, my home town there are traces of semi petrified trees which look like rocks but which are much softer, the area is known as the petrified forest. Antlers and bones bearing butchery marks have been found within the deposits and are on display for all to see at the local Hartlepool Museum.
Dick Mol, an amateur paleontologist manage to persuade fishermen to bring him specimen from the area and the co-ordinates of where they were found so that he could study them. One captain brought a human jawbone for him. It was beautifully preserved and the worn molars were still intact. Mol had it radiocarbon dated with the help of his fellow amateur Jan Glimmerveen. They found out that it was 9500 years old and they suggest it came from a burial site which is why it is preserved so beautifully. when the land disappeared under the waves, the human remains just sank without any disturbance.
This raises the question about what happened to the inhabitants of the vanished land of Doggerland?
It is suggested that after the Ice Age, the ice receded and the world became warmer. Animals like the boar, deer etc. headed towards the west and north. The hunters followed them and the Doggerland slowly fell uninhabited,the upland area from the Doggerland remained as an island till the 5000 B.C.E.
This was called Dogger Bank by the archaeologists. A recent hypothesis suggests that there was a tsunami around 6200 B.C.E. This was catastrophic for the landmass and led to the separation of Great Britain from the rest of the Europe.
Doggerland is still a mystery for geologists and archaeologists as they still attempt to discover more about the inhabitants of the Doggerland and what happened to them. The pre - historic treasures and evidences found slowly sheds light on the lost history and researchers continue to see more information from findings and satellite imagery.