Doggerland – The Lost Land of Europe

Originally named for the Dogger Bank, which was named for the Dutch fishing boats from the 17th century that were known as doggers, we recognize this exciting lost land from Europe.

The notion that Doggerland existed was initially suggested within the pages of a 19th century book called “A Story of the Stone Age” written by H.G. Wells, and was a story that took place during prehistoric times in a region where people could walk from Britain to Europe.

The Landscape of Doggerland

Doggerland was a mix of marshes, gentle hills, wooded valleys and also swamps. The Mesolithic people of these times took full advantage of the vast migrating wildlife and hunting grounds that were evident as found in ancient tools and bones that are found embedded on the sea floor of today and have been forced to the water’s surface due to all the fishing trawlers.

As time passed, this area was slowly flooded by the rise in sea levels that occurred after the most recent glacial period from 6,500 to 6,200 BC. The melting water that was locked away actually made the land tilt as it adjusted from the massive weight of the ice lessening.

When Doggerland Disappeared

Doggerland was gradually submerged and this left only the Dogger Bank, which was potentially a moraine (collection of glacial debris) until about 5000BC which was when the Dogger Bank was also covered by the rising sea.

A popular theory has suggested that a lot of the coast that remains and the low-lying islands were flooded during the year of 6225–6170 BC by a massive tsunami that was caused by the Storegga Slide. (The Storegga slide was a huge landslide involving around 180 miles of coastal shelf within the Norwegian Sea which led to a huge tsunami in the North Atlantic).

There have been discoveries in the Doggerland area that have included the remains of rhinoceros, mammoths, and other hunting artefacts which were dredged up from the floors of the North Sea.

During the year 1931, a very famous discovery made big news for the day when a fish trawler called Colinda brought up a lump of peat close to the Ower Bank, around 25 miles from the coast of England. The fishermen were quite astonished to find that the peat contained an authentic ornate barbed antler point that was used to harpoon fish from 4,000-10,000 BC.

Other significant discoveries of items from prehistoric times include paddles, textile fragments, and even Mesolithic dwellings existing off Denmark’s coast. Additionally, settlements that had sunken floors, fish traps, dugout canoes and quite a few burials within the Rhine/Meuse delta in the Netherlands, and even a skull fragment from a Neanderthal, that was dated as being over 40,000 years old were dredged from the Middeldiep off Zeeland’s coast.

Divers have also found patches of prehistoric forests, such as a discovery during the year 2015 right off Norfolk’s coast, whenever the research team called “Seasearch” was studying different marine lives and found remains unexpectedly that comprised of compressed trees and branches.

Quite a few universities are taking part in several studies attempting to map Doggerland’s geology, and to learn more about the fauna and flora of this forgotten place.

The interesting thing about Doggerland’s story is that it can be a stern warning to everyone about the power of nature wields and how it can shape the landscape via climate change. An entire group of people were displaced when the seas overwhelmed this large region. Today, it is estimated that over one billion people are living in areas that are vulnerable to the sea.