According to a recent study from the University of Bradford, understanding buried civilizations may be possible thanks to magnetic fields. The race is on to work with developers to compile information on Doggerland before development given the growth of North Sea wind farms.
According to the press release, Ph.D. student Ben Urmston will examine magnetometry data to search for magnetic field anomalies that could indicate the presence of archaeological features without the need for excavation.
The North Sea has now engulfed Doggerland, a section of land that once connected Britain and continental Europe. It drowned due to an increase in sea levels between 6500 and 6200 BCE. The area that was inundated is known as The Dogger Littora.
Doggerland was one of the most resource-rich and ecologically dynamic areas throughout the later Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods (c. 20,000–4,000 BC), and it was submerged beneath water during the end of the last ice age owing to global warming.
Businesses looking to extract oil, gas, and minerals from the ocean floor, as well as an increasing number of companies building offshore wind farms, gather magnetic data to comprehend the terrain before construction.
Exploration typically looks for shipwrecks, unexploded munitions, and weapons from earlier battles. Magnetometers are torpedo-like instruments that are dragged through the water by cables connected to survey vessels to study the magnetic fields on the seabed.
Although marine archeology is notoriously challenging, scientists would love to learn more about these potential ancient civilizations that once called Doggerland home.
Even while you may believe that scientists have time on their side, the surge in interest in mining the seabed—and in the case of the North Sea, the installation of wind farms—could endanger these vulnerable periods of human history.
In order to unravel the mysteries of human activity in Doggerland, researchers at the University of Bradford in the UK are using cutting-edge techniques in maritime archaeology and magnetic field analysis.
There may be a lot to find on the seafloor because the region was “among the most resource-rich and biologically dynamic places during the later Paleolithic and Mesolithic periods,” according to the experts.
READ ALSO: Russian Fighter Jet Causes US Drone to Crash Over Black Sea
Magnetic Data Analysis
Ben Urmston, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Bradford, will examine magnetic data collected by Royal Haskoning, a survey company that has been exploring the North Sea, as part of an evaluation of the environmental effects of potential green energy projects.
Magnetometers, which are torpedo-shaped equipment that is typically trailed behind a ship and employ the Overhauser effect, an atomic physics phenomenon, to record magnetic fields along the ocean floor, are used to gather this data.
However, Urmston wants to detect the presence of things like middens, which are essentially garbage heaps full of bone and other biological material and could provide a detailed picture of how Mesolithic Doggerlanders lived. This approach is frequently used to identify shipwrecks of iron ore deposits.
The team is clear that its goal is to find ways to sustainably build these projects, not to halt or postpone any of the North Sea’s urgently needed green energy initiatives. After all, Doggerland’s sunken valleys and undulating hills may yet contain a wealth of archaeological artifacts.
READ ALSO: Many Migrants Attempt to Cross the Border Between the US and Mexico