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Geology and Archaeology: Submerged Landscapes of the Continental Shelf

Product Code: SP411
Series: GSL Special Publications - print copy
Author/Editor: Edited by J. Harff, G. Bailey and F. Lüth
Publication Date: 04 January 2016
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Special Publication 411

Sea-level change has influenced human population globally since prehistoric times. Even in early phases of cultural development human populations were faced with marine regression and transgression as a result of changing climate and corresponding glacio-isostatic adjustment. Global marine regression during the last glaciation changed the palaeogeography of the continental shelf, converting former marine environments to attractive terrestrial habitats for prehistoric humans. These areas of the shelf were used as hunting and gathering areas, as migration routes between continents, and most probably witnessed the earliest developments in seafaring and marine exploitation, until the postglacial transgression re-submerged these palaeo-landscapes. Based on modern marine research technologies and the integration of large databases, proxy data are increasingly available for the reconstruction of Quaternary submerged landscapes. Also, prehistoric archaeological remains from the recent sea bottom are shedding new light on human prehistoric development driven by rapidly changing climate and environment. This publication contributes to the exchange of ideas and new results in this young and challenging field of underwater palaeoenvironmental investigation.

Published online and print 04/01/2016.

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Type: Book
Ten Digit ISBN:
Thirteen Digit ISBN: 978-1-86239-691-3
Publisher: GSL
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 294
Weight: 0.9 kg


HARFF, J., BAILEY, G. N. & LÜTH, F. Geology and archaeology: submerged landscapes of the continental shelf: an introduction

GLØRSTAD, H. Deglaciation, sea-level change and the Holocene colonization of Norway KULKOVA, M., MAZURKEVICH, A. & GERASIMOV, D. Stone Age archaeological sites and environmental changes during the Holocene in the NW region of Russia

RYABCHUK, D., ZHAMOIDA, V., AMANTOV, A., SERGEEV, A., GUSENTSOVA, T., SOROKIN, P., KULKOVA, M. & GERASIMOV, D. Development of the coastal systems of the easternmost Gulf of Finland, and their links with Neolithic–Bronze and Iron Age settlements

FOGLINI, F., PRAMPOLINI, M., MICALLEF, A., ANGELETTI, L., VANDELLI, V., DEIDUN, A., SOLDATI, M. & TAVIANI, M. Late Quaternary coastal landscape morphology and evolution of the Maltese Islands (Mediterranean Sea) reconstructed from high-resolution seafloor data

ABELLI, L., AGOSTO, M. V., CASALBORE, D., ROMAGNOLI, C., BOSMAN, A., ANTONIOLI, F., PIERDOMENICO, M., SPOSATO, A. & CHIOCCI, F. L. Marine geological and archaeological evidence of a possible pre-Neolithic site in Pantelleria Island, Central Mediterranean Sea

ANTONIOLI, F., LO PRESTI, V., GASPARO MORTICELLI, M., BONFIGLIO, L., MANNINO, M. A., PALOMBO, M. R., SANNINO, G., FERRANTI, L., FURLANI, S., LAMBECK, K., CANESE, S., CATALANO, R., CHIOCCI, F. L., MANGANO, G., SCICCHITANO, G. & TONIELLI, R. Timing of the emergence of the Europe–Sicily bridge (40–17 cal ka BP) and its implications for the spread of modern humans

SAKELLARIOU, D. & GALANIDOU, N. Pleistocene submerged landscapes and Palaeolithic archaeology in the tectonically active Aegean region

GALILI, E., ŞEVKETOĞLU, M., SALAMON, A., ZVIELY, D., MIENIS, H. K., ROSEN, B. & MOSHKOVITZ, S. Late Quaternary beach deposits and archaeological relicts on the coasts of Cyprus, and the possible implications of sea-level changes and tectonics on the early populations

CAWTHRA, H. C., COMPTON, J. S., FISHER, E. C., MACHUTCHON, M. R. & MAREAN, C. W. Submerged shorelines and landscape features offshore of Mossel Bay, South Africa

WURSTER, C. M. & BIRD, M. I. Barriers and bridges: early human dispersals in equatorial SE Asia

WARD, I., VETH, P. & MANNE, T. To the islands born: the research potential of submerged landscapes and human habitation sites from the islands of NW Australia

NUTLEY, D. M., CORONEOS, C. & WHEELER, J. Potential submerged Aboriginal archaeological sites in South West Arm, Port Hacking, New South Wales, Australia



Mark Griffin

Featured in Geoscientist 26/10 November 2016

….A topical multidisciplinary field of research, this Special Publication synthesises the current insights within this relatively recent area of underwater geoscientific investigation.

All sections are well written and edited, concisely laid-out with clear and appropriate figures, photographs and data-tables. Many are presented in colour and enhance the understanding of the textual details. The volume is a comprehensive contribution to the field, and the editors are to be congratulated. The primary readership is anticipated to be practising geoscientific professionals and graduate students within this ‘emerging’ research discipline. A recommended read and reference work.

Averil Leaver, BSc Hons Geoscience (Open)

This review featured in OUGS Proceedings vol 3 2017

The review papers give a good insight into the multidisciplinary nature of the work and describe the way that the geology and archaeology can be linked, each to guide the other. This was true in the papers from the Eastern Gulf of Finland where the mapping and accurate dating of successive occupation sites have given a good indication of the changing environments and fluctuations in sea level into the Holocene.

This was a difficult but rewarding read. There was a good variety of information, but some of the black and white illustrations were difficult to decipher. The articles are available on the Geological Society website if you have access through the OU.

Richard Bates, University of St Andrews, Scotland

The volume is aimed at archaeologists, geologists and climatologists studying the landforms, palaeontology and palaeo-climate through cycles of glacial and interglacial conditions.

The publication is well illustrated throughout with figures, tables, and photographs, and there is an extensive bibliography for each paper. These papers are a welcome addition to the fast0developing field of study of submerged palaeo-environmental investigation; however, the volume would have benefited from the addition of some key geographical areas, such as Beringia and Doggerland.

Featured in International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 2017

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