The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Quest and ‘Britain’s Atlantis’

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 5, 2012

A couple of fascinating reports detail discoveries at the bottom of the North Sea that some scientists say indicate the existence of “Doggerland,” an area that connected modern-day Great Britain to continental Europe until about 7,000 years ago.

CBS News reports that fossilized evidence of mammoths and other large game, harpoons, flint tools and suspected burial mounds mark settlements of hunters and gatherers who lived on dry land all around the British Isles – in areas connecting England to France and the Low Countries, as well as the area between Scotland and Denmark. London’s Daily Mail calls it “Britain’s Atlantis.”

Interesting stuff, you say, but what the heck does it have to do with energy?

It turns out divers with oil companies that are operating in the North Sea found remains of the submerged world, the Daily Mail reports, and scientists have used industry geophysical modeling data to help piece together what the area looked like when it was dry ground. Research team leader Richard Bates, a geophysicist at the University of St. Andrews:

“Through a lot of new data from oil and gas companies, we’re able to give form to the landscape - and make sense of the mammoths found out there, and the reindeer. We’re able to understand the types of people who were there.”

There’s much work to be done, Bates says: 

"We haven't found an 'x marks the spot' or 'Joe created this', but we have found many artifacts and submerged features that are very difficult to explain by natural causes, such as mounds surrounded by ditches and fossilized tree stumps on the seafloor. There is actually very little evidence left because much of it has eroded underwater; it's like trying to find just part of a needle within a haystack. What we have found, though, is a remarkable amount of evidence, and we are now able to pinpoint the best places to find preserved signs of life."

We’ll let you know if they turn up any signs of pre-historic oil and natural gas exploration.


Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.