Saturday, August 11, 2007
From roughly 10,000 to 8,000 years B.P. the English Channel was a river valley, not an arm of the Atlantic. Off the Isle of Wight, archaeologists are excavating the first settlement discovered in that valley. Hearths, flints, and other Mesolithic objects are being mapped and/or recovered from the bottom under 11 meters of water, where silt has preserved perishable materials like wood. The Channel was inundated when glaciers melted from the last Ice Age, and the occupants of this and other settlements were forced to higher ground.