Dense forest, rushing rivers and deep valleys
Mesolithic people lived in a landscape dominated by dense forest, divided by rivers and wetlands, and settlements were often found near the coast – a coast which today, lies hidden several meters under the surface of the sea.
When the settlements were inhabited, Storstrømmen was a deep valley with running streams and wetlands and the maritime archaeologists find bears witness to the fact that people in the past lived on resources from both the forest and the sea.
The settlement is an important piece of a much larger puzzle: “We know very little about coastal settlements during this period, precisely because they’re now located under water. Therefore, the find we have made here, helps to fill in the gaps in our knowledge concerning Stone Age people’s exploitation of the surrounding environment and resources”, explains Morten Johansen. “We have a massive find of animal bones: everything from large mammals down to the smallest fish bones and scales. The bones give us an insight into the diet and hunting strategies of Stone Age hunters. Here at the settlement, their diet consisted of red deer, roe deer, wild boar, hazelnuts and fish. Some of the hunter’s prey has been quite a surprise – we’ve found traces of wild cat, water vole, hedgehog, otter, fox and beaver”