— Matthew Ward (@HistoryNeedsYou) September 21, 2014
Shall we play a game of synchronicity? Like, say you wake up and scoop this tweet out of your Matrix like information flow timeline.
But for a few degrees variation of average temperature, say if the warming at the end of the Younger Dryas had been less rapid and the warm Gulf Stream had had less effect on northwestern Europe, the existence of Doggerland could still have been a reality today.
The modern configuration of our major cities would vanish. The sites of port cities such as Liverpool, Rotterdam and Bremerhaven would suddenly find themselves many miles inland. Sites of capital cities such as London and Amsterdam which grew around major rivers, may find themselves in provincial backwaters as those rivers change course in the new landscape.
The Thames, Meuse, Scheldt and Rhine rivers will join and flow along what is now the bed of the English Channel before reaching the Atlantic Ocean. The point of outflow of these rivers would be of massive strategic importance and the likely site of a major capital/port city. Doggerland itself would have its own major river systems; analysis by sonar has found at least 10,000 miles of river channels.
All of human history would be completely different.
The Mesolithic people who originally inhabited Doggerland 10,000 years ago would not have had to retreat from the advancing sea. They would likely have stayed and multiplied in situ rather than redistributing their genes to the areas surrounding the North Sea. By the same token, the persisting landbridge linking Europe together would have made population migration more free flowing – both internally within northwestern Europe and externally by migration/invasion to and from the east and the south. The result would have been a much more complex genetic picture. The effect would have been to erase virtually every human being born since then; the human population will have thrived, but every historical figure that we are familiar with, plus ourselves, our families and our ancestors, will never have been born.
And on the article goes to paint a very compelling portrait of an alternate 10,000 years of Europe.
But then @sneak046 independently links you to a BBC radio program: “New genetic investigation of ancient human remains, combined with archaeological evidence, is shedding new light on the origins of the early European populations“, and then he adds “mystery ethnic group that appears in European dna about 5000 yrs ago.”
Hmmm… Like, just after (ish) Dogger Island sank… and presumably a few other land masses.
And you remember that you opened this article on your phone from who knows where (seriously, a browser plugin that logged the referring link would be so ace, for back tracking of net wanderings and crediting people and such) “Europeans drawn from three ancient ‘tribes’“:
[a] mysterious population with Siberian affinities also contributed to the genetic landscape of the continent
When the researchers looked at DNA from 2,345 present day people, they found that a third population was needed to capture the genetic complexity of modern Europeans.
This additional “tribe” is the most enigmatic and, surprisingly, is related to Native Americans.
Hints of this group surfaced in an analysis of European genomes two years ago. Dubbed Ancient North Eurasians, this group remained a “ghost population” until 2013, when scientists published the genome of a 24,000-year-old boy buried near Lake Baikal in Siberia.
This individual had genetic similarities to both Europeans and indigenous Americans, suggesting he was part of a population that contributed to movements into the New World 15,000 years ago and Europe at a later date.
A resident of sunken lands then.
All this talk of mysterious populations and sunken lands naturally takes my mind wandering back to one of my favourite RUNE SOUP posts, “Atlantis is Real“. A subject I absolutely failed to address in my conversation with Gordon on the latest podcast. (But it was a really great chat and I’ll tease out a few things from that in upcoming post, once I’ve played around with some social media tech a bit more.)
summing up Sundaland then:
- Genetic markers and physical evidence put a population of seafarers on a sunken continent for tens of thousands of years with incontrovertible proof of contact with South America.
- The descendants of this population then set out into the Pacific, taking with them an exquisite knowledge of the stars, a tradition of megalithic building and the greatest concentration of flood myths found anywhere in the world.
Doesn’t that sound familiar?
Now am I actually suggesting that ancient Atlanteans wandered over a land bridge from America to Europe and maybe also were the ones that brought the Agricultural arts with them? Kind of.
But most of all, this is an exercise in being mindful of just how much we don’t know, how easily things can radically change, and also that our history is built in part on the back of invisible, sunken lands and ghost tribes; and there’s more of them in the works now, huh.
Plenty of fun with ancient maps in the times ahead as landscapes change.