What lies beneath in the Outer Hebrides

Ancient treasures could be hidden below the waters of the Western Isles and experts believe artefacts from the Mesolithic period (9,000 years ago) lie undiscovered.

It is speculated that rising sea levels would have protected these relics and Dr Jonathan Benjamin and Dr Andrew Bicket are to give a presentation in Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s council chambers on Monday about potential lost treasures.

In the Mesolithic period the UK was transformed from a peninsula of Europe to its current island status.

It is believed that – in conjunction with rising sea levels – this was brought about by landslides in Norway – the Storegga Slides – triggering one of the biggest tsunamis ever recorded on Earth when a landlocked sea burst its banks.

The water struck the north-east of Britain with such force it travelled 25 miles (40km) inland, turning low-lying plains into what is now the North Sea, and marshlands to the south into the Channel.

Dr Benjamin has conducted fieldwork in the UK, the Mediterranean, Scandinavia and North America.

He recently returned from test excavations at an underwater late Mesolithic site in Denmark that is more than 6,500 years old.

Dr Bicket is an expert in coastal geo-archaeology and is currently working in both the UK and Mediterranean as part of an international team focusing on the coastal prehistory of Greece and Italy.

The Western Isles have been home to many valuable archaeological discoveries from the famous 12th Century Lewis Chessmen found in Uig to coins and traces of ancient dwellings.

Hebrides Today brings you the latest news from the Western Isles

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