I’ve recently been reading Nicholas Crane’s The Making of the British Landscape and have become fascinated by the subject of Doggerland. Doggerland is the name given to the land mass that once joined the eastern edge of Britain to the European mainland, and which is now submerged beneath the North Sea. Around 10000 BC, the last ice age ended and the temperature rose. The landscape of Britain became more fertile and hunter-gatherers walked across Doggerland to extend their peripatetic range to this north-western extremity. “These people were survivalists, Edgelanders, and they migrated in small, cohesive bands, seldom staying anywhere for more than a few nights, following the herds of horse and reindeer, moving, moving”.
Over time, sea levels rose and Doggerland became increasingly submerged, eventually becoming cut off from land on both sides and forming an island. Around 6000 BC a devastating tsunami tore down through the North Sea and across the island of Doggerland, wiping out its population. The story of Doggerland tells us of our history as Europeans and also of our beginnings as an island race. After the submergence of Doggerland the residents in Britain became cut off from the European mainland and began to develop independently. The spread of agriculture, from the Fertile Crescent through Europe, stopped at the Channel and our island mentality began to form. Continue reading “The Making of the British Landscape”