Researchers explore underwater stone age settlement


Divers exploring the waters off the southern coast of Sweden about 7 years ago discovered what turned out to be northern Europe's oldest known stationary devices for catching fish.

In the time since, researchers from Sweden's Lund University have been studying the area.

The team recently announced that the location likely served as a semi-permanent settlement during Mesolithic times.

Other finds that informed their conclusion include an axe that dates back some 9,000 years and indications that mass fishing occurred at the site.

The research endeavor also involved drilling, radiocarbon dating, and the scientific analysis of algae and pollen.

Anton Hansson, one of the researchers, said, "These sites have been known, but only through scattered finds. We now have the technology for more detailed interpretations of the landscape."

He also commented, "If you want to fully understand how humans dispersed from Africa, and their way of life, we also have to find all their settlements. Quite a few of these are currently underwater, since the sea level is higher today than during the last glaciation. Humans have always preferred coastal sites."