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Historical sea level change on the opposite side of the North Sea

19 July 2011

At www.lancewadplan.org/Cultural%20atlas/WaddenSea/waddensea.htm we have a nice article on an area of the continent opposite East Anglia, bounded by the Frisian islands, the a few small Danish islands on the seaward side, and North Holland, Friesland, Groningen, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein and Denmark on the landward side, some 12,500km in extent. The Wadden Sea is basically a tidal flat area bounded by barrier islands with a tendencyh to be covered by sea water during high tides. This region was dry land in the early Holocene – and remained so during the Early and Middle Neolithic periods. Like the Fens on the other side of the North Sea, which were dry land before 3000BC, we may assume the same. Hence, it was occupied by farmers, and before them by Mesolithic peoples. Many Neolithic finds have been made and people were still present during the Late Neolithic (3rd millennium BC) and Early Bronze Age (after 2300BC) – but in the Late Bronze and Iron Age (pre-Roman) there is an absence of human artifacts suggesting a high sea level situation (as in Britain at the same time). In the Roman Warm Period some parts of the Wadden Sea were settled – around northern Frisia. Most of the rest consisted of raised bogs and marshland. In the late Roman era (after the 3rd century AD) there was general abandonment of the region -coinciding with the migration period (as a result of rising sea levels and storm tides). Settlement recommenced in the 7th and 8th centuries AD – usually in areas formerly favoured during the Roman era. 

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