Mesolithic site at risk

3D model of erosion at Site V Bouldnor Cliff

Maritime Archaeology Ltd are annually working on a Mesolithic underwater site in the Solent.

The site of Bouldnor Cliff lies 11 m underwater off the north coast of the Isle of Wight. It sits within a submerged forest that has come to light after being pressure wrapped in silt and preserved for 8,000 years. Today, strong currents are taking the silt away to reveal the lost secrets of people that lived when Europe was segregated by the North Sea.

Archaeological discoveries have been made by ongoing observation and sampling of the eroding landscape. The finds are remarkable. Many of the recovered items are new to archaeology, giving us unique insights into the lives of our ancestors. They include the oldest string in the UK, advanced wood working technologies and the discovery of wheat 2,000 years before it officially arrived in Britain.

The erosion creates great opportunities to discover more but it also destroys everything: unless it is rescued. This week the maritime archaeologists are focusing on recording and sampling the site to increase their understanding of the submerged site and how to best protect it, before it’s too late.

More information: 

Bouldnor Cliff 

The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory

SPLASHCOS – Submerged Prehistoric Archaeology and Landscapes of the Continental Shelf

3D models constructed of the sites and finds at Bouldnor Cliff

Maritime Archaeology Diving services

Our Health and Safety Executive (HSE) compliant diving team can provide a range of archaeological diving services to meet your needs, including;

  • Anomaly inspection
  • Excavation
  • Underwater photography
  • Media footage