On Sunday 16th October, Garry Momber, Director of the Maritime Archaeology Trust, will be speaking at the Isle of Wight Literary Festival.
Garry’s talk will cover two archaeological projects of major interest and importance to the Island:
Bouldnor Cliff: A submerged pre-historic site eleven meters below the surface and approximately 250 metres offshore of Bouldnor, near Yarmouth. Excavations have been continuing at Bouldnor Cliff since the 8,000 year old Mesolithic settlement was first identified in 1999, when a lobster was seen throwing Stone Age worked flints from its burrow. Since then the site has yielded numerous secrets. The material so far recovered has already demonstrated that the technology of the era was 2,000 years ahead of what archaeologists previously believed.
HLF Forgotten Wrecks of the First World War: With over 1000 wartime wrecks along England’s south coast alone, the conflict of WW1 has left a rich legacy and many associated stories of bravery and sacrifice. These underwater memorials represent the vestiges of a vital, yet little known, struggle that took place on a daily basis, just off our shores.
Near the village of Saint-Samson-sur-Rance, in Brittany, France, we find this interesting Neolithic piece of stone.
The menhir stands alone at 6 meters in length, leaning at just over 45 degrees. It is a large block of granite and quartz, with a relatively polished, flat look.
Most of the time that is all it seems to be. However, when the sun hits it just right, beautiful markings and carvings appear. Carvings of crosses, leaves, axes, waves and various animals.
There are several legends surrounding this monument. One legend says it is one of three stones closing the entrance to hell. This belief gave it the name “Bonde de l’Enfer,” loosely meaning “Leap From Hell.”
Another legend says that a young girl who wants to get married should climb on top of the menhir and slide down in her “birth pants.” Subsequently, she will be wed within a year.
A final legend tells a story of Samson of Dol who faced the temptations of the Devil nearby, and when the Devil failed, it whipped the stone, creating some of the marks we can see today.
Previously we have discussed some 3D-images of French megaliths. The following 3D image is of a Neolithic stone shelter in Spain.
Located in the beautiful Sierra Plana de la Borbolla, at Llanes in Asturias, Northern Spain, ‘The Idol’ is a neolithic rock shelter which has preserved wonderful examples of prehistoric art.
The rock has been known by local inhabitants for a long time, but it was not until 1914 the first archaeological investigations took place. ‘The Idol’ can be interpreted as a human form, featuring eyes, nose and feet wrapped in a cloth or robe. It might have represented a tribal elder or warrior, indicated by the adjacent dagger motif, thus making it likely that is was a funerary monument.
The images show crosses, demonstrating the site’s later Christianisation. In addition, we can find a faint animal motif and several red forms throughout.
It is likely that ‘The Idol’ is part of a series of sites dispersed across the region that are almost certainly connected with a wider common culture, stretching from Ireland to Scandinavia to Tunisia, in the Neolithic.
This time Garry is visiting the Sunken Secrets Museum on the Isle of Wight. He shows us various pieces of timber, flint and string that has taught us a lot about the people living here during the mesolithic era. The findings are proving to be highly important, because they show the people were way more advanced than previously thought, by as much as 2000 years.
Garry is on the Isle of Wight discussing what we find at Bouldnor Cliff. He shows us what the submerged forests look like and what we can learn about England in the mesolithic era, emphasising the importance of this site.
We are doing our best to retrieve as much as we can before it all erodes away.
In 1999, whilst out diving, MAT discovered what we know as Bouldnor Cliff by the Isle of Wight. This used to be a highly populated area of land. Ever since the discovery there have been ongoing excavations and investigations to uncover the complex life of the people living on this piece of land during the mesolithic era, about 8000 years ago.