Exploring submerged prehistoric landscapes

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Buoyed by the success of the DeepWater expedition carried out along the Gulf Stream in the spring of 2013, the PlanetSolar TerraSubmersa expedition took place during summer 2014.

This expedition was the result of a close collaboration between the Laténium in Neuchâtel (Switzerland), the Greek Department of Underwater Antiquities, the Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece, and the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research. It aimed to explore the prehistoric landscapes submerged in the Argolic Gulf in Greece, in an attempt to reconstitute them and perhaps to find traces of human activity.

At the end of the last ice age, around 20,000 years ago, sea level was considerably lower than it is today. By studying these submerged prehistoric landscapes, archaeologists can reconstitute the environments that have disappeared under water and comprehend the interactions between prehistoric man and the sea. These studies, which are likely to become one of the major archaeological challenges of the 21st century, will enable to identify the mechanisms of population settlement in coastal areas.

The project was conducted by Julien Beck, senior lecturer at the Departement of ancient sciences of the University of Geneva.

Contact: communication(at)unige.ch