All at Sea

23 Sep 2011

At ... archaeologists from the University of Liverpool have been out in boats with marine archeologists from Southampton University, poking around a few island offshore from the British mainland. The hope is to find some clues on why the Mesolithic became the Neolithic. Most scholars assume the change came about as a result of farmers crossing over from the continent, or by the western sea routes of the Atlantic coastline, bringing with them various skills as well as livestock and cereals etc. Other archaeologists suspect the indigenous people adapted to agriculture and there was minimal immigration. The aim is to find out what the western sea lanes may have looked like between 4500 and 4000BC. Little investigation of an entry along the Atlantic seaboard has been done and yet it is known that farmers were in far west of Ireland at a very early date. Targets include the Scillies, the Channel Islands, and the Outer Hebrides (but how many of the desired sites are now under water?)