Splash - Wessex Archaeology's Coastal and Marine Archaeology blog

Wessex Archaeology Coastal & Marine team participate in underwater excavation of Mesolithic site in Denmark

Last month, two of Wessex Archaeology’s Coastal & Marine staff were invited to take part in a test excavation at a newly discovered underwater Mesolithic site in the Danish Baltic. The site, three metres deep and located south of Falsled Harbour on the Island of Funen, was found last year during an annual community archaeology programme run by the Øhavmuseet (Langeland Museum) which was also a short-term training mission, funded in part by (EU COST Action TD-902) SPLASHCOS.

210 John McCarthy excavates the seabed. Finds were collected in a fine-mesh bag at the end of the refuse pipe.

Dr Jonathan Benjamin and John McCarthy of Wessex Archaeology’s Edinburgh Office joined the international team, led by Otto Uldum for a one-week test excavation to establish the extent and character of the site. They were also joined by archaeologists from the Mosegård Museum (Denmark) and Dr Harald Lübke of the Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology in Schleswig Holstein (Germany) who has spent more than ten years excavating underwater sites in the Baltic.

211 Sifting through the emptied collection bag for cultural material.

Preliminary results indicate that the site represents the shoreline contemporary with the late Mesolithic, which was inhabited by the hunter-fishers of the Ertebølle culture. Worked flint, animal bone and antler, as well as fish bones, wood and other organic remains were recovered. Radiocarbon determinations will be sent to the lab in Kiel, Germany and a report will be published in 2012.

212 Some of the finds including blades, burned flint, pig teeth and a transverse arrowhead.

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