How Did Whole Countries Disappear? (Mysterious Lost Civilizations)

How Did Whole Countries Disappear? (Mysterious Lost Civilizations)


What if a whole region the size of a small
country slowly sank beneath the sea, hiding what were once hills and forests, and fertile
lands that people had inhabited successfully for thousands of years? It sounds like the start of a new fantasy
novel, but as it turns out, that really has happened. And not only that, it’s happened more than
once, and in rapid succession–geologically speaking. At the peak of the last Ice Age, about 20,000
years ago, sea levels around the world were much lower than today. But coastal areas are often a good place for
human settlement, offering a ready source of protein from fish and shellfish. So some of the very sites where people might
have chosen to live are precisely the places that were about to be inundated, and hence
hard for scientists to find. The Black Sea region is one of the richest
in terms of potential for the archaeological study of early civilizations, but parts of
the story seem to be missing. In Turkey, Greece, and the valley of the Danube,
there are apparent gaps right around the time when people started adopting farming as a
way of life. That era, the Neolithic, or New Stone Age,
is a major turning point in the story of humanity. Archaeologists need artifacts from transitional
sites to understand how the shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture took place. But first they need to find them. And the part of this region with the best
remains of early farming villages may currently be at the bottom of the Black Sea. At the end of the last Ice Age, the Black
Sea was a huge freshwater lake, although its shorelines were much lower than today. A thin land bridge kept out the saltwater
of the Mediterranean. According to one theory, as the level of the
Mediterranean rose, it put pressure on this thin, natural dam, eventually creating a waterfall
200 times as big as Niagara Falls. Some researchers have conjectured that oral
histories of that catastrophe inspired the ancient flood narratives, like the story of
Noah or Gilgamesh. However, the Black Sea flooding may not have
been as sudden or voluminous as suggested by the broken-dam theory. And it might have come from the Caspian Sea
instead, a different direction altogether. No matter where they came from, fast or slow,
floods would have been bad news for Neolithic farmers near the Black Sea, but they could
be a boon to archaeologists. The depths of the Black Sea have very low
oxygen levels and in those conditions, organic materials you’d expect to find in a Neolithic
village—wood, fibers, animal skins—stand a comparatively good chance of preservation. The trouble is figuring out where to dive,
a problem shared by underwater archaeology in several other regions. Modern surveying technologies can help, but
apparently, so too can lobsters. In 1999, a team of marine archaeologists were
surveying near the Isle of Wight, on Britain’s southern coast. There, they noticed that local lobsters had
done some digging of their own. Burrowing down into the sea floor, the crustaceans
had excavated a number of Stone Age flint tools. Subsequent expeditions found additional sites
at the underwater formation known as Bouldnor Cliff. The sites date from more than 8,000 years
ago, when the area was still dry land, and researchers have found evidence at Bouldnor
Cliff of very early boat building and long-distance trade. A map of Northern Europe during the Ice Ages
of the late Pleistocene looks quite unfamiliar compared to the modern coastline. For one thing, Great Britain was a peninsula
rather than an island. Even more dramatic is what’s right next
to it: a land mass the size of a whole country in the middle of the North Sea. Dubbed “Doggerland,” the region joined Britain
with the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark Then, as the often icy Pleistocene gave way
to the warmer Holocene, it disappeared. Mapping the North Sea floor has shown the
river valleys and hills of the forgotten country. In its time a fertile region, undersea exploration
at Doggerland may hold clues to the lives of Northern Europe’s earliest farmers. Since 1931, artifacts found at sea or washed
ashore have hinted at the habitation of this lost land. Recent exploration has shown that it was no
mere land bridge, and in fact Doggerland had vast areas suited to human settlement. Although the inundation of water was often
too slow to observe in a single lifetime, there were exceptions. Three massive underwater landslides took place
off the coast of Norway about 8,000 years ago. These landslides caused massive tsunami waves,
which would have devastated what was left of Doggerland. But even if the islands had been able to recover
from that disaster, the inexorable rise of the sea would have always meant doom for Doggerland
was unavoidable. And it was far from the only ancient place
to meet this fate. Numerous other “lost countries” lie on shallow
continental shelves around the world. Beringia is the name for a region that once
connected to both Alaska and Siberia. It may have sustained human populations for
thousands of years during the last Ice Age. As glaciers receded, one theory suggests,
ancestors of American Indians began migrating south along North America’s Pacific coast. On the opposite side of the planet, Sundaland
is the name scientists have given to a land mass–basically its own continent–that included
the islands of Sumatra, Java, and Borneo, and the Malay Peninsula. Just to the east of that was the ancient continent
of Sahul, which included both Australia and New Guinea. Sundaland and Sahul had populations of modern
human beings for some 50,000 years, meaning that artifacts of human habitation also lie
in the ocean off Indonesia and Malaysia. Like the Black Sea, a very compelling lost
land yet to explore is the so-called “Gulf Oasis.” In the Pleistocene, this was a lush land of
rivers and a huge freshwater lake which would one day become the modern Persian Gulf—also
called the Arabian Gulf, or just the Gulf. The region shows a spike in human settlements
starting about 9000 years ago. That implies an influx of people, possibly
including groups moving to higher ground, as the lake became a rising salt sea. The Persian Gulf could harbor early sites
of enormous significance to the history of civilization. Right now, the oldest known cities are from
the Sumerian civilization of southern Iraq, near the delta where the Tigris and Euphrates
Rivers meet the Gulf. Down the coast to the south and east, excavations
in the island country of Bahrain have revealed the civilization of Dilmun, named for a semi-mythical
paradise in Sumerian religion and history, possibly inspired by their connections to
the region. Dilmun features in the Sumerian creation myths
as a place bestowed with fresh water. An intriguing theory suggests that some of
the predecessors of Sumeria and Dilmun were migrants from lower altitude lands that were
flooded as salt water from the ocean encroached on the large freshwater lakes and rivers. Considering the importance of the region in
technological breakthroughs ranging from the origin of writing, the invention of the wheel
to the planting of wheat and the brewing of beer, new major chapters of world history
or even dramatic changes to what we think we know about the origins of human civilization
may await discovery at the bottom of the Gulf. This lost country may even be one of the first
places occupied by modern humans outside of Africa. Thus far, underwater archaeology in the region
has been limited, so for now, this ancient paradise, if it existed, still awaits discovery. But there are plenty of sites where underwater
archaeology is happening, and a pair of sites on the Mediterranean hint at the possibilities
for this field of study in the future. Mapping the shallow seafloor off the coast
of southern Greece, archaeologists have worked with artists to put together a picture of
a thriving ancient community from a time long before Homer. The researchers call the town Pavlopetri,
although its ancient name remains a mystery. Similar work is being done off the coast of
Israel where archaeologists have been studying a village called Atlit-Yam, preserved much
as it was when its residents seem to have abandoned it 9000 years ago. The people of Atlit-Yam may have led quite
a good life, raising various crops and animals, and of course fishing in the sea just beside
their community. They lived long lives for the era, and buried
their dead with offerings. They even built a megalithic structure that
kind of resembles Stonehenge. Its function isn’t clear, but it may have
been associated with a fresh water source. The remains of several stone wells at Atlit-Yam
hold clues to its likely downfall. In succession each well became converted to
a trash pit, likely because it stopped producing fresh water. And of course, the saltwater kept coming,
until it reached its modern coastline a quarter mile (400 meters) away. As archaeologist Ehud Galili noted to the
Jerusalem Post, right now Atlit-Yam is the best-preserved village from its time in the
Mediterranean and for thousands of years the structures and artifacts there were protected
under the sands. But he adds that, as modern sea levels rise
and shift the sands on the seafloor, sites like Atlit-Yam face the risk of being lost
forever. In the meantime, marine archaeology is giving
us the chance to reclaim a part of history long lost to the waves. Which underwater locations do you think researchers
should explore? Let us know in the comments. Also, be sure to check out our other video
“Battle of Thermopylae – Spartans vs. Persians” Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t
forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!

100 thoughts on “How Did Whole Countries Disappear? (Mysterious Lost Civilizations)

  1. Wow, so if we use the same theory that we are responsible for glacial melt I guess these guys 15,000 years ago had billions of cars and had industrial pollution! So interesting!
    OR maybe, climate change is cyclical! But if everyone agreed that, then the politicians wouldn't have trillions in carbon tax.

  2. If you think this is interesting go watch Randall Carlson and Graham Hancock, you will be surprised how deep this may go.

  3. You vs teen titans🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🤔🙂🤔🙂😀😀😀😂😂😂😂😎😎😎🙂🙂🤩🤩🤩😂😂😂😂😂🙂🙂🙂

  4. Well, my country soon to follow these countries since our capital city Jakarta is sinking deeper day by day. Global warming is real y'all!

  5. The areas under the water in the Black sea fascinate me however Doggerland seems to have a lot of promising real estate! yeah the other ones sounded quite interesting too. I have seen 2 documentaries on the new underwater archeology off of Greece that were quite enlightening.

  6. Hmmmm i think all of the abandoned cities and gigantic landslides I credit that to the flood, yeah that’s right Noah’s arc flood

  7. There must have been lot of cars/sarcasm. The sun spots are always varying and that's your climate change. No tax will control the climate ffs.

  8. It's like asking how did like 2 to 6 BILLION people killed by gawd disappear between 3900 BCE (earths creation in the book of fiction), and like 100 CE? Where did all these giants, Behemoths, Satyr's , countless millions of Human, and countless millions of animal sacrifices disappear to ? The answer is rather simple in these cases – they didn't for they never existed. However unlike those things that would have left entire mountain ranges of bones in their wake.

    In reality countries and cities erode, the stones wear away, the wood rots, the metals rust, and so on, floods carry massive amounts of silt, sand, dirt, and so on and cover them, unlike the first events I described allegedly took place in a high desert region.

    Even if Desert sands covered what I said, they would be mountains high in debris and easily findable.

  9. There's a lost megalithic city off the coast of Japan. geologist admit that there's no way that the shapes down there could possibly be from natural processes. Except they all claim that it's not man-made because they say the oceans have never been that low.

  10. Scientists will never accept something to be older than they can date. Sadhguru says Hinduism is more than 75000 years old. But according to scientists, everything ancient in India is just "more" than 5000 or 7000 years old. Libturds.

  11. First-World idiots like Trump melt the Ice Caps
    80% of the Earth's land disappears underwater
    Hey! We can finally see and live in Atlantis now!

  12. I think we should do something with the ocean water, 3 ideas.
    1 vaporized the sea water
    2 dump it to the center of earth
    3 use it as fuel or something

  13. In the Netherlands we have a province that is called Zeeland and when you translate it into English its called Sealand and there are over 20 flooded citys there😂👍🏻🇳🇱

  14. How to find ancient civilizations: analyze the bed of the sea in question and make a model of it. Reduce the depth by 180 feet and see where the shore lies. All major civilizations live near water, which is why they drowned in the great thaw.

  15. According oral stories from elders, in ancient time you can actually from malay peninsula, sumatra and java because they are basically one landmass with many rivers.

  16. The graphics are extremely misleading. We can be confident that during the neolithic, nobody had dockside stands selling seafood, and there were no windmills, either.

  17. After watching this video, I believe it shows characteristics of pseudo archaeology. One of the examples that’s shown is the burden of proof provided, which as we learned in class, shows the obligation of one's claim. In this video, there is scientific proof that mapping on the North Sea floor shows river valleys and hills of a forgotten country. The hypothesis and theory that countries may have been flooded can be backed up on facts as well due to the evidence of movements in Earth’s plates, causing earthquakes and floods. Another concept we learned in class is Occam’s Razor. This states no more assumptions with a claim should be made than necessary. Although relatively short, I believe this video gives enough arguments to back up their claims on why certain countries disappeared. I think there could be some improvements though. I think if the video had more actual live footage, instead of only cartoon renderings, it would give more of a realistic approach. As we discussed, this is necessary to help listeners determine the possibility or probability of a claim. I think as we develop more advanced technology, we will be able to find better proof to these types of theories as well. There are many factors limiting discoveries of these lost civilizations such as those claimed to be underwater. It is said that much of the deep ocean has yet to be discovered, due to the dangers and lack of technology. As we advance with time, I believe there will be archaeological discoveries yet to be seen.

  18. The Caspian Sea is still below sea level. If the Caspian flooded the Black Sea, it would be connected to the ocean as water doesn't flow uphill yet.

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