What Are Submerged Terrestrial Archaeological Sites?

Archaeological sites are areas of land that were once settlements or living areas for ancient people. Frequently archaeologists can learn much about these people by examining their remains, be they structural foundations or trash piles. As opposed to traditional archaeological sites which are terrestrial, meaning "on land", Team Atlantis seeks to learn about people from submerged terrestrial sites, meaning "underwater". How did the sites get underwater?

These ancient settlements or ruins may have been submerged any number of ways. Land subsidence (the geological settling or lowering of land) is one explanation. The gradual inundation by rising sea levels (a result of melting ice caps and glaciers) is another possibility. A site might be submerged through a combination of both factors as well.

An archaeological site can also be submerged by a catastrophic event. For example, the Minoan island of Thera was destroyed and submerged as the result of a volcanic eruption. In this case, the submergence was rapid rather than gradual as the other geological factors tend to be.

Team Atlantis is mostly interested in sites that have become submerged as a result of rising sea levels. These sites tend to lend themselves to more accurate dating. Paleo-climatologists, who are scientists that study ancient weather patterns, can estimate sea levels at different times in history. Few people are aware that sea levels can dramatically change in short periods of time.

In recent years, the study of climatology has demonstrated that global climatic shifts do not necessarily occur over vast periods of time. In fact, dramatic changes in temperature can occur on a global level in a matter of decades. As a result, sea levels have also changed dramatically in short periods of time. It is generally agreed upon that during the last ice age, between 15,000 and 35,000 years ago, worldwide sea levels were considerably lower - as much as 500 feet in some places!

Archaeology departments at Brown University, Florida State University, Texas A&M, and others, have research programs focusing on submerged terrestrial sites. These institutions have only recently come to realize the significance of such a study and what it might reveal in terms of civilization's origins, development, and in America, early human immigrations.

These universities have created computer models capable of predicting probable submerged, and hitherto unknown, site locations. Utilizing computer programs such as Cli-Map (a paleo-climatological computer program), while taking a scientifically holistic approach has provided interesting, although preliminary, results. Such a holistic approach deals in multiple disciplines, including: geology, archaeology, climatology, geography, and oceanography. It is this same multi-disciplinary approach that Team Atlantis seeks to employ.

Although the study of submerged terrestrial archaeological sites is in its infancy, it has much to tell us about our history. There is no question that this type of field research will contribute to our scientific body of knowledge. Such research is cutting edge and poised to be the future of underwater archaeological investigations.

Who Could Have Built The Underwater Monuments?

This question is the greatest mystery of all. However, Team Atlantis thinks they have the answer!

Contents Copyright © 1998 by Michael Arbuthnot Property of Michael Arbuthnot
All Rights Reserved

This document is not for publication or reproduction.
No one is authorized to dispose of same.