The theory that Mesolithic-Doggerland was the source of the legends of Atlantis, The Flood and creation is, of course, speculative but does contain certain compelling points, especially in terms of context. Plato said that Atlantis laid beyond “beyond the Pillars of Hercules,” or Gibraltar in the Atlantic. Doggerland was located in post Ice Age North Sea well outside of the Mediterranean. However, as a bird flies, Doggerland is much closer to Greece than more far-placed Atlantic locations that have been offered up.
Mesolithic Doggerland was not a “civilization”; but for that epoch, it was quite advanced and was situated on some of the best real estate in Eurasia.
Plato is known to have freely borrowed some of his allegories and metaphors from older traditions. Written in 360 B.C., Plato (428-347 B.C.) introduced Atlantis in “Timaeus.” The dialogues claim to quote Solon, who visited Egypt between 590 and 580 B.C. They state that Solon translated Egyptian records of Atlantis. Arguably, Atlantis and The Flood would have represented a major collective memory passed down from an epic event. But what event?
Adding to the mystery comes a revelation that up to 70 percent of British men are related to the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen, geneticists in Switzerland said. Did a group of Doggerlander descendants make their way to Egypt, end up ruling and, most certainly, taking their epic memories with them?
Plato also described Doggerland accurately from what we know today, saying that the Plain to the South-Southwest dominated the sea by a vertical drop, and that at the other side of the drop (North and East), the Plain went down in a gentle slope.
More color and a good match came from Diodorus Siculus, a Greek historian of the first century B.C., sourcing Hecateus of Miletus, the first geographer of the fourth century B.C., states:
“Hecateus and a few others claim that, beyond the country of the Celts, there is in the Ocean an island no smaller than Sicily. It stretches Northwards and is inhabited by the Hyperboreans. They are so called because they live beyond the lands where Boreas, the North wind, blows.
Doggerland, now submerged under the North Sea, was the “True Heart of Europe” in the Mesolithic, according to Richard Bates of the University of St. Andrews. It was a paradise for that era, with the populations multiplying and doing very well. It would have been one of the larger and prospering human populations of Europe.
Lakes lapped gently in the marshes, rivers winding their course through lush landscapes of grasses and bushes. Food was plentiful. The waters teemed with fish and shellfish, birds nested in the reeds, berry bushes covered the banks. There were many rich villages of country folk, the meadows furnished ample nutriment to all the animals both tame and wild. Timber of various sizes and descriptions was abundantly sufficient for the needs of all and every craft. Doggerlanders were fishermen and would have been skilled at making functioning seaworthy boats.
After the Ice Age receded, populations migrated from the Iberian Refugio and moved into this prime real estate stating about 8,000 B.C. In the context of the next several millennium, life was much more advanced and comfortable than their Ice Age ancestors or others scattered around Europe who barely survived. For about two millennium, Doggerland had a good run by any standard.
The Flood Story
Gradually, as the ice melted, the North Sea rose and Doggerland was inundated. It was gradual at first, and the inhabitants constructed dykes to preserve their fertile lands. Plato referenced dykes.
There was an abrupt 0.25- to 0.5-meter sea-level jump sometime between 6300-6200 B.C., marking the effects of the catastrophic melt-water release from Lake Agassiz that triggered the so-called “8200 calBP” cold event around the Atlantic (e.g. LeGrande 2006; Clare, et al). Lake Agassiz was an ice dam lake in Canada. It would have poured into the Hudson Bay and raised the sea level of the North Atlantic.
At this point, with decades of lead time and the lands shrinking, the Doggerlanders began to resort to boats for shorter relocation trips to the European and British coasts.
Next, and within +/- 100 years after the Agassiz inundation, a giant ice dam that once spanned roughly from Dover to Calais and retained a lake to its Northeast catastrophically failed, resulting in yet a second flood that opened the English Channel.
Within another 100 years, the mother of all floods hit from the Storegga Slide (Norway) tsunami. Three epic floods over a few hundred years at the location of the best real estate in Mesolithic times would all but guarantee flood, lost civilization and Ark voyage legends of a most memorable kind.
The map at left shows Doggerland as a massive plain in about 7500 B.C. The map at right shows the residual island about 6200 B.C., after the English Channel opened up and just before the mega-tsunami hit. Notice that besides Dogger Island, there are a string of good-sized islands in the English Channel and North of the Rhine. Additionally, low-laying land that once jutted out into the North Sea and attached to England would have been inundated.
On one autumn day about 6000 to 6200 B.C., the men of the Mesolithic had just retired to their winter quarters when one of the greatest catastrophes in European history crashed down upon them. If any event qualifies as an epic flood in pre-history, this was it.
From “Doggerland Lost“:
“The end came in a flash: 8 to 10 meter tsunamis raced through the North Sea. In the sea bottom in front of the coast of Norway, huge masses of mud slid down a 1000 meter slope – an event known as the Storegga Slide – and gave rise to the enormous waves.”
In their work, Jon Hill and his colleagues reconstructed the past landscape of Doggerland on their computers.
“Large parts of Doggerland were then less than five meters above sea-level. The fate of the island proved a lucky break for the coastlines behind them: Doggerland acted as a wave-breaker, so that the German North Sea coast, the Netherlands and Southern England were exposed to tsunamis of only one meter.”
The chart shows the various impacts that sent Doggerland to an Atlantis style watery grave, including the tsunami and mother of floods transpiring in hours. The tsunami manifested itself as a giant wave on the coastline and an unusually extensive flood in the interior.
This does not necessarily imply that all were killed immediately — although given the likely rapidity and scale of the event, a significant number of people would almost certainly have been caught and drowned by the inexorably cold and rising waters, while many others would have been displaced. Productive coastal areas would have been devastated, shellfish beds destroyed and covered by sand, together with any fixed fishing facilities. Any stored food meant to last over the winter may also have been lost (cf. Spikins 2008), with subsequent starvation among survivors.
The final abandonment of the remaining remnants of Doggerland as a place of permanent habitation by Mesolithic populations was rapid as well as epic. The idea that the survivors would have left on boats and barges to the coast of England is likely. An island-hopping evacuation to the less-impacted modern-day Low Countries and French coast would also have been in the works. An entire population would have had to renew and relocate.
Doggerland: far more advanced than previously thought.
One of the larger northwestern European paternal haplogroups R1b1b2a1a (mine) is associated with many DNA samples taken from the Dogger Banks. Today, this Doggerlander gene is found in England, the Low Countries, Denmark, Southern Norway and coastal France, where it reaches levels of one-third of the modern population. In pre-modern migration times, say 1500 A.D., it would have been even higher.
Fourth century historian Ammianus Marcellinus, relying on a lost work by Timagenes, a historian writing in the first century B.C., who writes that the Druids of Gaul said that part of the inhabitants of Gaul had migrated there from distant islands: “The Drasidae (Druids) recall that a part of the population is indigenous but others also migrated in from islands and lands beyond the Rhine.” (Res Gestae 15.9) Note: The Rhine enters the North Sea in southern Netherlands.
Welsh: “The lake of Llion burst, flooding all lands. Dwyfan and Dwyfach escaped in a mastless ship with pairs of every sort of living creature. They landed in Prydain [Britain] and repopulated the world” (Gaster, pp. 92-93).
Scandinavian: “Oden, Vili, and Ve fought and slew the great ice giant Ymir, and icy water from his wounds drowned most of the Rime Giants. The giant Bergelmir escaped, with his wife and children, on a boat made from a hollowed tree trunk. From them rose the race of frost ogres. Ymir’s body became the world we live on. His blood became the oceans” (Sturluson, p. 35).
Celtic: “Heaven and Earth were great giants, and Heaven lay upon the Earth so that their children were crowded between them, and the children and their mother were unhappy in the darkness. The boldest of the sons led his brothers in cutting up Heaven into many pieces. From his skull they made the firmament. His spilling blood caused a great flood which killed all humans except a single pair, who were saved in a ship made by a beneficent Titan. The waters settled in hollows to become the oceans. The son who led in the mutilation of Heaven was a Titan and became their king, but the Titans and gods hated each other, and the king titan was driven from his throne by his son, who was born a god. That Titan at last went to the land of the departed. The Titan who built the ship, whom some consider to be the same as the king Titan, went there also” (Sproul, pp. 172-173).
The stories, tales and legends of such a monumental flood and displacement would have spread all over Eurasia, and even elsewhere, as a universal collective memory. Sea levels were rising globally during this era, and the Black Sea also experienced a flooded coastal zone. Indeed, variations of the flood accounts are found in many locations, religions and cultures, not just Sumeria and the Bible (see full list). But the 6000 B.C. Storegga Slide and outcomes would have been the epic mother of all events.