‘Unexpected’ Solent discovery rewrites farming history, according to archaeologists.
ARCHAEOLOGISTS have discovered an 8,000-year-old settlement on the Solent’s bed that has the potential to rewrite British agricultural history.
The Isle of Wight is separated from mainland Britain by the Solent.
It is a major lane for passenger, freight, and military vessels, measuring roughly 20 miles (32 kilometers) long and two and a half to five miles (four and eight kilometers) wide.
It also serves as a popular destination for water sports, particularly yachting, and hosts the annual Cowes Week sailing event.
It is extremely important to the South Coast because the Isle of Wight, Southampton, and Portsmouth all lie on its shores.
Thousands of years ago, however, the Solent had a very different story to tell.
It was once dry land, much like the English Channel, the North Sea, and the Irish Sea, and is now gradually being submerged by rising sea levels.
Britain and the Isle of Wight did not break free from mainland Europe until 6100 BC.
The Mesolithic period, also known as the Stone Age, has seen the remains of human habitation strewn across the seabed for many years.
The BBC’s recent documentary ‘Digging for Britain’ looked into this ancient settlement, which is submerged 11 meters beneath the seabed off the coast of Bouldnor, a hamlet near Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight.
Dr. Cat Jarman, one of the UK’s leading archaeologists, called the discovery in the Solent “spectacular and unexpected,” adding that it could rewrite the story of how people moved across the continent, particularly given the discovery of wheat DNA.
Garry Momber of the Maritime Archaeology Trust has scuba dived at the site several times, fascinated by the detailed information held on the seabed about the ancient humans who lived there.
He and his team lifted and reassembled a mysterious wooden walkway in 2019, and they went out looking for more signs of ancient life last year.
“It’s the only one we have in the UK,” Mr Momber explained.
“It’s 8,000 years old, and it’s telling us about a time period we have no knowledge of.”
From 9500 BC to 4000 BC, the Mesolithic people roamed Britain as hunter-gatherers.
Mr Momber’s most recent experiment, on the other hand, appears to call into question that conventional wisdom.
He took a sediment sample from the site.
“Brinkwire News Summary.”