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Under the Water

Rikke Houd accompanies a team of maritime archaeologists who are racing against time and tide at a submerged Mesolithic site off the southern coast of England at Bouldnor Cliff.

8000 years ago, the area between what is now Britain and the Continent was a fertile land of rivers, forests and hills, inhabited by our forefathers. It might even have still been possible to walk between England and Denmark, despite rising water levels following the last ice-age. That all ended when a huge underwater landslide off the coast of Norway created a tsunami that flooded this landscape submerging the Dogger Hills and creating the North Sea and the English Channel - "the first Brexit".

In this documentary, the celebrated Danish feature-maker Rikke Houd accompanies a team of maritime archaeologists to a Mesolithic site at Bouldnor Cliff, off the southern coast of England. The team races against time and the tide to explore layers of sediment that bury memories of prehistoric existence. As the currents reveal treasures held for thousands of years in the mud, they become vulnerable to being washed away for ever. At every opportunity they retrieve artefacts from this settlement that reimagine the understood chronology of human development in these parts - its climate, skills and lifestyle .

With contributions from Garry Momber and Jan Gillespie of the Maritime Archaeology Trust and Professor Nigel Nayling from the University of Wales, Trinity St David's.

Presented and produced by Rikke Houd.
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio Three.

Available now

44 minutes

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