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  • © 2020

The Archaeology of Europe’s Drowned Landscapes

  • Offers comprehensive and attractively illustrated coverage of all currently known data on underwater prehistoric finds in Europe, organised around the major marine basins and the national maritime jurisdictions within them

  • Discusses concepts and methods of underwater investigation, collaboration with offshore industries, and legal and management issues

  • Includes full scientific evaluation of the material in relation to the current status of known underwater finds elsewhere in the world

  • Covers the full assessment of the wider significance of the material in relation to thematic issues of early human dispersal and cultural and economic development

  • Complements the online database of European finds and a published volume on the geological and palaeoenvironmental context of the European underwater record

Part of the book series: Coastal Research Library (COASTALRL, volume 35)

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Table of contents (27 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxviii
  2. The Archaeology of Europe’s Drowned Landscapes: Introduction and Overview

    • Geoff Bailey, Nena Galanidou, Hans Peeters, Hauke Jöns, Moritz Mennenga
    Pages 1-23Open Access
  3. The Baltic and Scandinavia

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 25-25
    2. The Baltic and Scandinavia: Introduction

      • Geoff Bailey, Hauke Jöns
      Pages 27-38Open Access
    3. Denmark: Mesolithic Coastal Landscapes Submerged

      • Geoff Bailey, Søren H. Andersen, Thijs J. Maarleveld
      Pages 39-76Open Access
    4. Sweden: Submerged Landscapes of the Early Mesolithic

      • Björn Nilsson, Anton Hansson, Arne Sjöström
      Pages 77-93Open Access
    5. Germany: Submerged Sites in the South-Western Baltic Sea and the Wadden Sea

      • Hauke Jöns, Friedrich Lüth, Svea Mahlstedt, Julia Goldhammer, Sönke Hartz, Hans-Joachim Kühn
      Pages 95-123Open Access
    6. Norway: Submerged Stone Age from a Norwegian Perspective

      • Håkon Glørstad, Jostein Gundersen, Frode Kvalø, Pål Nymoen, David Simpson, Birgitte Skar
      Pages 125-140Open Access
  4. The Atlantic Margin and the North Sea

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 141-141
    2. The Atlantic Margin and the North Sea: Introduction

      • Hans Peeters, Fraser Sturt, Kieran Westley
      Pages 143-155Open Access
    3. Belgium: Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology in the Intertidal and Subtidal Zones of the North Sea

      • Marnix Pieters, Tine Missiaen, Maikel De Clercq, Ine Demerre, Sven Van Haelst
      Pages 175-187Open Access
    4. Great Britain: The Intertidal and Underwater Archaeology of Britain’s Submerged Landscapes

      • Geoff Bailey, Garry Momber, Martin Bell, Louise Tizzard, Karen Hardy, Andrew Bicket et al.
      Pages 189-219Open Access
    5. Ireland: Submerged Prehistoric Sites and Landscapes

      • Kieran Westley, Peter Woodman
      Pages 221-248Open Access
    6. France: Submerged Prehistory on Atlantic and Mediterranean Coasts

      • Cyrille Billard, Marie-Yvane Daire, Chloé Martin
      Pages 249-280Open Access
    7. Portugal: Intertidal Archaeology and Submerged Coastal Landscapes

      • Nuno Bicho, Leandro Infantini, João Marreiros
      Pages 295-305Open Access
  5. The Mediterranean and the Black Sea

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 307-307
    2. The Mediterranean and the Black Sea: Introduction

      • Nena Galanidou, Geoff Bailey
      Pages 309-319Open Access
    3. Italy: The Archaeology of Palaeoshorelines, Coastal Caves and Seafaring Connections

      • Elena Flavia Castagnino Berlinghieri, Fabrizio Antonioli, Geoff Bailey
      Pages 321-340Open Access

About this book

This open access volume provides for the first time a comprehensive description and scientific evaluation of underwater archaeological finds referring to human occupation of the continental shelf around the coastlines of Europe and the Mediterranean when sea levels were lower than present. These are the largest body of underwater finds worldwide, amounting to over 2500 find spots, ranging from individual stone tools to underwater villages with unique conditions of preservation. The material reviewed here ranges in date from the Lower Palaeolithic period to the Bronze Age and covers 20 countries bordering all the major marine basins from the Atlantic coasts of Ireland and Norway to the Black Sea, and from the western Baltic to the eastern Mediterranean. The finds from each country are presented in their archaeological context, with information on the history of discovery, conditions of preservation and visibility, their relationship to regional changes in sea-level and coastal geomorphology, and the institutional arrangements for their investigation and protection. Editorial introductions summarise the findings from each of the major marine basins. There is also a final section with extensive discussion of the historical background and the legal and regulatory frameworks that inform the management of the underwater cultural heritage and collaboration between offshore industries, archaeologists and government agencies.

The volume is based on the work of COST Action TD0902 SPLASHCOS, a multi-disciplinary and multi-national research network supported by the EU-funded COST organisation (European Cooperation in Science and Technology). The primary readership is research and professional archaeologists, marine and Quaternary scientists, cultural-heritage managers, commercial and governmental organisations, policy makers, and all those with an interest in the sea floor of the continental shelf and the human impact of changes in climate, sea-level and coastal geomorphology.


“There are 27 chapters written by 89 international collaborators, which are supported with an impressive number of high-quality visuals. … this volume represents one of the most monumental publications on continental-shelf archaeology published to date, and will stay significant to researchers and students for years to come.” (Katarina Jerbić, The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, Vol. 50 (1), 2021)

“The volume does a good job highlighting the extent and preservation of the underwater archaeological record, with the results from both Denmark and Israel providing stand-out examples of what can be achieved. But the volume also highlights the potential of the records in other countries that border the European coastline where the records are not so well investigated. These examples will inspire archaeologists in these European countries interested in coastlines … .” (Simon Holdaway, The Holocene, Vol. 31 (10), 2021)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Archaeology, University of York, York, UK, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia

    Geoff Bailey

  • Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete, Rethymno, Greece

    Nena Galanidou

  • Groningen Institute of Archaeology, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

    Hans Peeters

  • Lower Saxony Institute for Historical Coastal Research, Wilhelmshaven, Germany

    Hauke Jöns, Moritz Mennenga

About the editors

Geoff Bailey is Anniversary Professor of Archaeology Emeritus at the University of York, Visiting Professor at Flinders University, Australia, and Chairman of the EU COST Action 'Submerged Prehistoric Archaeology and Landscapes of the Continental Shelf' (SPLASHCOS). He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1976 and has held Faculty appointments at Cambridge, where he was also Fellow and Senior Tutor of Clare Hall, and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, where he was Professor of Archaeology and Head of Department from 1996 to 2004, before taking up the Anniversary Chair at the University of York. His research interests are in the archaeology of coastlines, submerged landscapes and Quaternary landscape evolution, and he has led major projects in Australia, Greece, Saudi Arabia and the UK. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, Member of the Academia Europaea and Corresponding Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. In 2017 he was awarded the King AbdulAziz Prize for a book on Saudi Arabia in a non-Arabic language, and the Europa Prize of the Prehistoric Society for contributions to European Prehistory.

Nena Galanidou is Professor of Archaeology at the Department of History and Archaeology of the University of Crete. She received her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1996 and continued with a post-doctoral Research Fellowship at Clare Hall to 1999. She is an expert on lithic technology and archaeological computing. Her research interests are Stone Age archaeology, ethnoarchaeology, archaeological history and method, and public archaeology. Dr Galanidou has conducted archaeological fieldwork in Greece and Croatia and has participated in various international projects on the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic of Southeast Europe. She is currently Director of the multidisciplinary Lesbos Lower Palaeolithic Project and of the Inner Ionian Sea Archipelago Project. Both projects are concerned with the history of Palaeolithic occupation and its relationship to sea-level change in regions where offshore islands were once part of their neighbouring mainland, in Anatolia and Greece respectively. Dr Galanidou is a member of the EU SPLASHCOS research network and was the Greek archaeological representative on the European Marine Board’s SUBLAND Working Group for European Continental Shelf Prehistoric Research.

Hauke Jöns is Head of the Culture Science Department and Director of the Lower Saxony Institute for Historical Coastal Research in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, as well as Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology at Rostock University. He received his PhD in 1993 and his Habilitation in 2000 at the University of Kiel, Germany. He is an expert in diachronic settlement and landscape research, with special interests in human adaptations to changing coastal environments, archaeometallurgy and the management of the coastal archaeological heritage. He was a member of the steering group of the interdisciplinary Research Programme SINCOS (Sinking Coasts) which published in 2014 on the dynamics of the Littorina Transgression on the Southwest Baltic Coast and its impact on the Mesolithic and Neolithic societies of the region. He has also conducted research on submerged sites of the late Mesolithic Ertebølle culture in the Western Baltic and the Zwischenahner Meer and on the archaeology of the German Wadden Sea. In addition, he has led a project on the settlement and land use of the Western group of the Neolithic Funnel Beaker culture. Dr Jöns is the German archaeological substitute representative on the EU SPLASHCOS Management Committee and is the coordinator of the web-based SPLASHCOS Viewer.

Hans Peeters is Associate Professor at the Groningen Institute of Archaeology, University of Groningen. He is a specialist in the archaeology of hunter-gatherers, landscape archaeology and lithic technology. He received his PhD from the University of Amsterdam in 2007 for his study on Mesolithic-Neolithic land-use dynamics and innovative approaches to heritage management issues in the Dutch Flevoland polders. He has led major multi-disciplinary research projects on Mesolithic and Neolithic excavations and landscape studies in the Netherlands. Dr Peeters also coordinated an international working group named the “North Sea Prehistory Research and Management Framework” (NSPRMF), the results of which were published in 2009, and evaluated and upgraded in 2019 under his direction. Dr Peeters is the Netherlands archaeology representative on the EU SPLASHCOS Management Committee and continues to play an important advisory role in the field of heritage management of prehistoric archaeology and landscapes, both on land and offshore.

Moritz Mennenga is Scientific Associate and head of the unit for ‘Excavation Technique and Geoinformatics’ at the Lower Saxony Institute for Historical Coastal Research in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, since 2015. He received his PhD at the University of Kiel in 2017 for research on Middle-Neolithic settlement structures and houses of the Funnel Beaker Culture in north-western Germany with the focus on the area between the rivers Elbe and Ems. Additional research interests are the spatial and GIS analysis of distributions of ancient human remains and the reconstruction of historical landscapes. He leads projects on Neolithic and ritual landscapes in the North Sea coastal region including investigations of settlements and megalithic graves buried beneath peat in the Elbe-Weser triangle. Dr Mennenga is responsible for the data-management of the SPLASHCOS Viewer and has created most of the distribution maps in this volume.

Bibliographic Information

Buy it now

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access