Settlement Discovered Buried Under Swedish Region Of Baltic Sea
By: Michael Stevens
January 27, 2014
An ancient settlement may have been discovered on Jan. 24 buried deep beneath the Baltic Sea. Divers in Sweden have discovered a rare collection of Stone Age artifacts. Archaeologists believe the relics were left by Swedish nomads 11,000 years ago.
An ancient settlement may have been discovered buried deep beneath the Baltic Sea
The discovery may be evidence of one of the oldest settlements ever found in the Nordic region.
Some of the relics are so well preserved, reports have dubbed the find “Sweden’s Atlantis” and suggested the settlement may have been swallowed whole by the sea in the same way as the mythical island in the Atlantic Ocean.
The artifacts were discovered by Professor Bjorn Nilsson from Soderton University, and a team from Lunds University, during an archaeological dive at Hano, off the coast of Skane County in Sweden.
Buried about 52 feet below the surface, Nilsson uncovered wood, flint tools, animal horns and ropes. Among the most notable items found include a harpoon carving made from an animal bone, and the bones of an ancient animal called aurochs.
Aurochs are ancestors of modern-day cattle and lived through Europe before becoming extinct in the early 1600s. The last reported arch died in Poland in 1627. This find is significant because it suggests a date for when these items would have been used.
Many of the artifacts have been preserved because the diving location is rich in a sediment called gyttja.
Black, gel-like Gyttja is formed when peat begins to decay. As the peat is buried, the amount of oxygen drops and it is thought this lack of oxygen prevented the organic artifacts from being lost.
“Around 11,000 years ago there was a build-up in the area – a lagoon of sorts – and all the tree and bone pieces are preserved in it,” Nilsson told The Local. “If the settlement was on dry land we would only have the stone-based things, nothing organic.”
The dive was part of a three-year excavation partially funded by the Swedish National Heritage Board.
Archaeologists are continuing the dig, and are now particularly interested to see whether there is also an ancient burial site in the region.
This would add weight to the claims it was once a settlement location that has since been lost at sea.
If the region was a settlement, it would have similarities with Atlantis – the mythical island first referred to by Greek philosopher Plato.