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Mesolithic Platform Discovered Off Isle of Wight

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Isle of Wight Platform ISLE OF WIGHT, ENGLAND—BBC News reports that an 8,000-year-old wooden platform has been discovered off the Isle of Wight coast near Yarmouth. The seabed where the structure was found—at a depth of roughly 36 feet—would have been dry land when the platform was built, and still connected to the European mainland. The platform sits adjacent to and may have been part of Bouldnor Cliff, a submerged Mesolithic settlement first identified in 1999, which—among a number of discoveries—has yielded what is thought to be the earliest boatbuilding site in the world. Divers from the Maritime Archaeology Trust, which oversees the site, first spotted the new structure earlier this year, and excavations have now revealed it to consist of a series of split timbers resting on round wooden foundations. According to Trust director Garry Momber, the platform doubles the amount of worked wood from the Mesolithic period that is known in the United Kingdom, and provides new evidence for technology that was not previously thought to have been developed for at least another 2,000 years. The wood has now been taken to a laboratory at the National Oceanography Center in Southampton for analysis and conservation. To read more about the archaeology of Stone Age Britain, go to "Mesolithic Markings." 

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