In the last ice age, due to the fall in sea level, the area of Australia has increased by a third. Our ancestors followed the receding coastline, making drawings in caves and leaving behind many tools. As the glaciers melted, water flooded it all. Only last year, traces of ancient people were first discovered at the bottom. On the most amazing discoveries of underwater archeology - in a selection of RIA Novosti.
Treasures swallowed by the sea
"Very little is known about the sunken landscapes, their population, and their role in the development of mankind," scientists from Australia write in an article with the results of an underwater archaeological expedition off the northwestern coast of the continent.
It is estimated that at the peak of the last glaciation, the sea level was 130 meters lower than the current one. Consequently, a significant part of the continental shelf was land. Then warming began, and about seven thousand years ago, continents and oceans acquired the outlines familiar to us. The once vast expanses of the earth were flooded. The depth is very deep, and it has not been possible to explore it thoroughly before.
Australians were the first to undertake efforts to study the sites of ancient people under water. They chose the Dampir archipelago - there there is a national park, where, among other things, artifacts of prehistoric culture and rock paintings are protected.
Six expeditions were sent there from 2017 to 2019. At first, the water area was surveyed by lidars and drones from the air, bathymetry was carried out from the ship, topographic maps of the seabed were compiled, and two promising areas were selected - at Cape Bryugier and in the Flying Foam Strait. On the first site, at a depth of 2.4 meters, divers found 269 stone artifacts, on the second - only one. Among them are blank cores, flakes, including sharpened ones, two stones similar to grinding ones. For comparison: 455 items were collected on the nearest shores. All of them, underwater and land, are from local volcanic rock, they have many similarities.
Scientists cannot date the finds directly, but by indirect evidence they are at least seven thousand years old. This is the first discovery of traces of Stone Age people on the sea shelf. A stone artifact found in the Flying Foam Sound off the coast of Australia. Its age is over 8500 years old
The Syrian coast has been the center of international trade for five thousand years. The sailors of Arwad Island are mentioned in the Bible. However, systematic archaeological work was not carried out due to the difficult political and economic situation in the region. Several attempts in the 1960s and 1980s immediately brought sensations - shipwrecks were found in the water area.
In 2019 and 2020, a Russian-Syrian underwater expedition worked near the island of Arwad and the city of Tartus. Experts surveyed the water area using geophysical methods, made maps and selected areas where city structures and ships were most likely to sink. Off the coast of Tartus, divers and underwater drones have found the ruins of a 1st century AD sea fortress.
According to the expedition participant Dmitry Tatarkov from Sevastopol State University, the remains of hydraulic structures, a lighthouse and four marble columns, a pier, breakwaters and an embankment were found. Scientists raised to the surface shards of Greek amphorae, Phoenician pots, Egyptian vases, and various household items made of Roman stone. Pottery will help to accurately date the finds.