Doggerland is at once where it has always been and also no longer exists. It is a real place which never was - no-one who lived there would recognise the name by which we have come to know it. Doggerland is Atlantis; Doggerland is where Noah and Gilgamesh both lived; Doggerland’s echoes are heard everyday in the shipping forecast.
Doggerland is a name given by archaeologists and geologists to the former landmass which formed a rich habitat for animals and humans in the Mesolithic period. Since that time it has been submerged beneath the southern North Sea. It was a large area of dry land that stretched from Britain’s east coast across to the present coast of the Netherlands and the western coasts of Germany and Denmark, that connected the island of Great Britain to mainland Europe during and after the last Ice Age. In 1931 a commercial trawler sailing near Dogger Bank dragged up an elegant, barbed antler point that dated to a time when the area was a tundra. During an era of dramatic climate change at the end of the Mesolithic period, Doggerland and other lowlands of the ancient world was flooded, never to be seen again. It is thought that the folk memory of this apocalypse is the root of the many flood myths that reach us from ancient cultures around the world.
I am currently writing a series of poems called Postcards from Doggerland. Click forward to see some of these.