Atlantis in Doggerland

22 Apr 2016

At ... Anne Marie de Grazia has translated Jean Deruelle the author of 'De la Prehistoroire a l'Atlantide de Megaliths' in which it is hypothesized the Great Plain of Atlantis could now lie at the bottom of the North Sea. Then, Deruelle suggests the people of Atlantis were also the megalith builders. This theory resembles Paul Dunbavin's book of the 1990s that placed Atlantis in the Irish Sea basin and again, a link with the megalith builders - and no doubt many other theories on Atlantis associate the demise of that island with the Atlantic shoreline and the vicinity of the British Isles. There was even a Russian team just a few years  ago with the same idea of placing Atlantis somewhere off the coast of Cornwall.

As far as we know Doggerland was occupied by Mesolithic people using flint tools. Fishing nets occasionally dredge up stone axes - the most obvious flint objects (being larger and not requiring the knowledge of identifying the deft strokes of human hands on the edges of pieces of flint). More interesting is the reference to the Voyage of Pytheas around the British Isles (and possibly reaching as far as Iceland if Thule can be so identified, which seems a long shot). However, it is the tides that I found most interesting. Tides are not so important in some parts of the world but in NW Europe they are signficant if you go out and about in boats. Tides empty harbours, freeing up hundreds of yards of sea bottom. We might not think much of this situation as we sit around a Cornish harbour sipping our glass of beer but in other parts of the world the sea does not go out as far. The difference between high and low tide rarely reaches 2m on most of the planet but is 4m in Aquitaine, 5 to 6m in Brittany, 12m in the Bristol Channel (the height of a four storey building) yet in the North Sea is minmal, around 3m at Southend (at the estuary of the Thames). It is just 1m at Hamburg and in the middle of the North Sea tides are close to zero. Deruelle then goes on to f;lesh out his theory of Atlantis in the North Sea - and of course he has a ready made catastrophic flooding event to account for its sudden demise (the collapse of the Storegga Shelf off the coast of Norway followed by a great wave of water rushing down what is now the bottom of the North Sea basin). Lovely set of events that all come together - apart from the flint dredged up from the sea bed.