5. Conclusions

5.1 What has the study shown?

The North Sea contains an exceptionally well preserved landscape with considerable research potential. Whilst the impacts of mineral exploitation, infrastructural developments, fishing and, more recently, the construction of wind farms have been considerable, data presented here suggests a large part of the Southern North Sea contains an in-situ prehistoric landscape which never suffered the effects of later agricultural and anthropogenic practices. Given that such conditions could not occur within the terrestrial sphere, the potential of petroleum geophysics to inform our understanding of the submerged landscapes and to guide research at a regional scale is unique.

The potential of 3D Seismic data to provide new data for this period is such that it will no longer be appropriate to regard the marine archaeology in this area as peripheral or "lacking" (Conneller & Warren 2006, 7). However, more important is the fact that the availability of such information will transform how we interpret traditional terrestrial data by studying how and to what extent these communities interacted. The study of marine prehistoric landscapes is still in its infancy but the data currently available is sufficient to demand that our interpretations of the early British Mesolithic must include and consider the archaeology of this region.


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Last updated: Tues Oct 2 2007