Underwater Stone Age

Fight on to save Stone Age Atlantis

 A race against time is under way to try to save a Stone Age settlement found buried at the bottom of the sea in the Solent.

Eight thousand years ago the area would have been dry land, a valley and woodland criss-crossed by rivers.

A swamped prehistoric forest was identified off the northern Isle of Wight coast in the 1980s, but Bouldnor Cliff’s buried Stone Age village was only found – by chance – a few years ago.

Divers taking part in a routine survey spotted a lobster cleaning out its burrow on the seabed and to their surprise the animal was throwing out dozens of pieces of worked flint.

Maritime archaeologists from the Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology have carried out a number of underwater excavations at the 8,000-year-old site.

For the first time they are bringing up sections of the Mesolithic village from the seabed and going through the sediments.

But they have to work fast, as the site is literally being washed away by tidal currents, which eat away at the submerged cliff at a rate of 12in (30cm) a year.

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