Dr Jonathan Benjamin
Moesgaard Museum, Denmark
The shallow waters of southern Scandinavia are unparalleled in their abundance of submerged prehistoric sites, a result of post-glacial sea-level rise and its impact on coastal societies during the early Holocene. Settlement and resource procurement and processing centres are common and the optimal conditions of low, stable temperature in a relatively sheltered underwater environments of gytja and compact sediment has led to extremely well preserved material from the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. Recent investigations near Falden demonstrate the importance of a proactive approach to site investigation and active management. Further, the recent discoveries at Hjarnø represent what could be a considered a model for the evaluation of submerged middens, a process that will be studied for the potential global export to study coastal shell deposits in offshore contexts around the world.
Benjamin, J., C. Bonsall, C. Pickard and A. Fischer (eds) 2011 Submerged Prehistory. Oxford: Oxbow Books.
Benjamin, J. 2010 Submerged prehistoric landscapes and underwater site discovery: Reevaluating the 'Danish model' for international practice. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology 7(2):253-270.