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Lost streets of Britain's Atlantis Dunwich revealed

Washington, May 11 : A professor from University of Southampton has carried out the most detailed analysis ever of the archaeological remains of the lost medieval town of Dunwich, dubbed "Britain's Atlantis".


Funded and supported by English Heritage, and using advanced underwater imaging techniques, the project led by Professor David Sear of Geography and Environment has produced the most accurate map to date of the town's streets, boundaries and major buildings, and revealed new ruins on the seabed.

Professor Sear worked with a team from the University's GeoData Institute; the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton; Wessex Archaeology; and local divers from North Sea Recovery and Learn Scuba.

"Visibility under the water at Dunwich is very poor due to the muddy water. This has limited the exploration of the site," he said.

"We have now dived on the site using high resolution DIDSON � acoustic imaging to examine the ruins on the seabed � a first use of this technology for non-wreck marine archaeology.

"DIDSON technology is rather like shining a torch onto the seabed, only using sound instead of light. The data produced helps us to not only see the ruins, but also understand more about how they interact with the tidal currents and sea bed," he said.

Present day Dunwich is a village 14 miles south of Lowestoft in Suffolk, but it was once a thriving port � similar in size to 14th Century London.

Extreme storms forced coastal erosion and flooding that have almost completely wiped out this once prosperous town over the past seven centuries.

This process began in 1286 when a huge storm swept much of the settlement into the sea and silted up the Dunwich River.

This storm was followed by a succession of others that silted up the harbour and squeezed the economic life out of the town, leading to its eventual demise as a major international port in the 15th Century.

It now lies collapsed and in ruins in a watery grave, three to 10 metres below the surface of the sea, just off the present coastline.

--ANI (Posted on 11-05-2013)

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