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What might have been one of the world's oldest shipyards has been discovered underwater near the Isle of Wight, new research suggests.

A forest of timber boards was first discovered jutting out from the Solent, the strait of water that separates the Isle of Wight from mainland England, back in 2005.

Experts have since been working to excavate the site and reveal the secrets that are buried 36 feet below the water...

Shipyard found underwater near the Isle of Wight dating back 8,000 years is the 'most intact Mesolithic wooden structure ever found in the UK'


Researchers at The Maritime Archaeological Trust in Southampton found the site

They have been working since 2005 to excavate and reveal its hidden secrets
The site was on dry land with lush vegetation at the time workers lived nearby
They could easily have hauled timber from nearby forests to the site overland

By Tim Collins For Mailonline
20 August 2019

What might have been one of the world's oldest shipyards has been discovered underwater near the Isle of Wight, new research suggests.

A forest of timber boards was first discovered jutting out from the Solent, the strait of water that separates the Isle of Wight from mainland England, back in 2005.

Experts have since been working to excavate the site and reveal the secrets that are buried 36 feet below the water.

Archaeologists have uncovered an arrangement of trimmed timbers that could be platforms, walkways or collapsed structure, they say.

A new structure was spotted eroding from within this drowned forest, during the late spring of 2019.

The platform they have now revealed is, they say, the most intact, wooden Middle Stone Age structure ever found in the UK.


What might have been one of the world's oldest shipyards has been discovered underwater near the Isle of Wight, new research suggests. Pictured: How the new platform looked before excavation

Researchers at The Maritime Archaeological Trust (MAT) in Southampton discovered the site.

It lies east of Yarmouth and, during the period there was human activity at the site, it was dry land with lush vegetation.

This was a time before the North Sea was fully formed and the Isle of Wight was still connected to mainland Europe.

This meant that people at the time could haul timber from nearby forests to the site overland.

MAT's first task was to create a 3D digital model of the landscape so it could be experienced by non-divers.

It was then excavated by the Maritime Archaeological Trust during the summer and has revealed a cohesive platform consisting of split timbers, several layers thick, resting on horizontally laid round-wood foundations.


A forest of timber boards was first discovered jutting out from the Solent, the strait of water that separates the Isle of Wight from mainland England, back in 2005. Picutred: The lower layer of the platform structure, revealed by excavation


Since then, experts have been working to excavate further and reveal the secrets hidden buried 36 feet below the water. Pictured: Archaeologists have reconstructed what they believe the platform would have looked like


'This new discovery is particularly important as the wooden platform is part of a site that doubles the amount of worked wood found in the UK from a period that lasted 5,500 years,' said Garry Momber, director of the MAT.

'The site contains a wealth of evidence for technological skills that were not thought to have been developed for a further couple of thousand years, such as advanced wood working.

'This site shows the value of marine archaeology for understanding the development of civilisation.

‘Yet, being underwater, there are no regulations that can protect it. Therefore, it is down to our charity, with the help of our donors, to save it before it is lost forever.'


Experts have uncovered an arrangement of trimmed timbers that could be platforms, walkways or collapsed structure. Pictured: This 3D mosaic of images reveals the structure uncovered during excavation



The new structure was spotted eroding from within this drowned forest during the late spring of 2019. Pictured: A computer generated view of half of the structure as viewed from the north



The platform they have now revealed is, they say, the most intact, wooden Middle Stone Age structure ever found in the UK. Pictured: A computer generated view of the other half of the structure, showing its eroding eastern edge (far right)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...ucture-UK.html