There’s an area of land under the North Sea that was above water thousands of years ago, connecting what is now Great Britain and Denmark. The sea is relatively shallow in this area. Fishermen have dragged up remains of land animals and prehistoric tools. It’s been called the British Atlantis, but its formal name is Doggerland, after the Dogger Bank.
Now switch gears. Mitochondrial haplogroup V2, relatively rare in Europe, is a British group. And there’s a theory it originated in Doggerland. Pretty cool. This is my group, so also my mother’s, my maternal grandmother’s, my sisters’, my sisters’ children, and so on throughout my whole female line.
This is all old news. What has my attention today is that I was leafing through a book by Diana Paxson, and noticed she has a brief bit about Doggerland even though she doesn’t call it that.
“An interesting, if much debated, theory holds that during the earlier part of the Bronze Age a ‘northern Atlantis’ developed on islands off the west coast of Jutland that were known as the Electrides, or Amber Isles (Spanuth 1979), dominating the lands around the North Sea until it was swamped by a tsunami somewhere between 1500 and 1220 B.C.E. Some speculate that its people were the Haunebu, who traded amber to the Egyptians. After the disaster, the fleeing inhabitants may have displaced the Sea Peoples, whose attacks are described in Mediterranean records of the later Bronze Age.” (Diana Paxson, Essential Ásatrú (2006), 15-16.)
Paxon is citing Spanuth who believed Doggerland was not just the “British Atlantis” but also the original for Plato’s Atlantis. Probably not likely. A better candidate for Atlantis (in my opinion) is Santorini. And Paxson’s dating is quite a bit later than the current idea that Doggerland sank between about 6500 and 5000 BCE.
Nevertheless, there is probably more material to be mined here. The Greeks, or some of them, believed Hyperborean Apollo came from a land beyond the lands of the Celts, behind the North Wind. The traditional identification is Britain, but some writers now suggest the legend is old enough for it to have been Doggerland.
- Ancient Architects, Doggerland: The Cradle of Ancient British Neolithic Civilisation, YouTube (Oct. 19, 2017), retrieved Mar. 13, 2019.
- AtlasPro, Doggerland: Europe’s Missing Country, YouTube (Jan. 24, 2018), retrieved Oct. 22, 2019.
- The Guardian, ‘Reconstruction’ begins of stone age lands lost to North Sea (May 8, 2019), retrieved July 15, 2019.
- History Time, How Doggerland Sank Beneath The Waves (500,000-4000 BC) // Prehistoric Europe Documentary, YouTube (Jan. 26, 2020), retrieved July 13, 2020.
- Maciamo Hay, Haplogroups HV0 and V (mtDNA), Eupedia (Sept. 2016), retrieved Feb. 5, 2019.
- Insitome, The Insight: Paradise Lost, YouTube (Mar 12, 2018), retrieved Feb. 18, 2019.
- National Geographic, Doggerland – The Europe That Was, retrieved Feb. 5, 2019.
- National Geographic, Uncovering the British Atlantis, retrieved Feb. 8, 2019.
- Paul Rincon, Prehistoric North Sea ‘Atlantis’ hit by 5m tsunami, BBC News (1 May 2014), retrieved Feb. 5, 2019.
- Jürgen Spanuth, Atlantis of the North (1979).
- Wikipedia, Doggerland, retrieved Feb. 5, 2019.
Revised July 16, 2019, Oct. 22, 2019, and July 13, 2020 to add additional sources.