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Divers in Sweden unearth ‘Stone Age Atlantis’

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Divers in Sweden have discovered a rare collection of Stone Age artefacts buried deep beneath the Baltic Sea.

Archaeologists believe the relics were left by Swedish nomads 11,000 years ago and the discovery may be evidence of one of the oldest settlements ever found in the Nordic region.

Some of the relics are so well preserved, reports have dubbed the find ‘Sweden’s Atlantis’ and suggested the settlement may have been swallowed whole by the sea in the same way as the mythical island in the Atlantic Ocean.

The artefacts were discovered by Professor Bjorn Nilsson from Soderton University, and a team from Lunds University, during an archaeological dive at Hano, off the coast of Skane County in Sweden.

Buried 16 metres below the surface, Nilsson uncovered wood, flint tools, animal horns and ropes.

Among the most notable items found include a harpoon carving made from an animal bone, and the bones of an ancient animal called aurochs.

Aurochs are ancestors of modern-day cattle and lived through Europe before becoming extinct in the early 1600s. The last reported auroch died in Poland in 1627.

This find is significant because it suggests a date for when these items would have been used.

Many of the artefacts have been preserved because the diving location is rich in a sediment called gyttja.

Black, gel-like Gyttja is formed when peat begins to decay. As the peat is buried, the amount of oxygen drops and it is thought this lack of oxygen prevented the organic artefacts from being lost.

Nilsson said: ‘Around 11,000 years ago there was a build-up in the area – a lagoon of sorts – and all the tree and bone pieces are preserved in it.

‘If the settlement was on dry land we would only have the stone-based things, nothing organic.’

The dive was part of a three-year excavation partially funded by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

Archaeologists are continuing the dig, and are now particularly interested to see whether there is also an ancient burial site in the region.

This would add weight to the claims it was once a settlement location that has since been lost at sea.

If the region was a settlement, it would have similarities with Atlantis – the mythical island first referred to by Greek philosopher Plato.

Atlantis was said to have been a large island, or even a continent, in the Atlantic Ocean that sank and vanished almost overnight.

Nilsson is quick to dismiss the claims the settlement is ‘Sweden’s Atlantis’, however, stressing that the Swedes at the time would have been nomadic.

This means that the settlement may have only been temporary, and that a village never permanently existed on the site – unlike the mythical Atlantis.

 

Source: www.thedailystar.net

News

Diving with… Ana and Miguel, Siladen Resort & Spa, Indonesia

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In this ongoing series, we speak to the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards from around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer…


What is your name?

Ana and Miguel

What is the name of your business?

Siladen Resort & Spa

What is your role within the business?

Co owners and General Managers

How long has the business operated for?

Almost 20 years.

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?

Miguel has dived since 1993 and Ana has dived since 2002. We are both Open Water Scuba Instructors.

What is your favorite type of diving?

We love all dive types, especially wall diving for the wonderful corals and looking out into the blue wondering what other animals will come up next. But as an UW photographer and videographer we both love critter hunting in the sandy slopes. We are both very fond of night dives as we always find interesting animals and different behaviour.

If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?

We have a wonderful location in the heart of Bunaken National Park and we have an amazing team that provides the best service to each guest. We are a fun dive resort; we constantly strive to be as sustainable as possible and safety is our number one priority. If you like sea turtles and beautiful coral reefs you cannot miss this area for diving or snorkelling.

What is your favorite dive in your location and why?

If we have to choose one wall we would say Mandolin as it has beautiful and healthy corals with a wonderful and shallow reef top. We love to search for turtles in the overhangs, look for long nose hawkfish in the black coral bushes, admire the schooling snappers, and spend a long safety stop on the coral gardens on the top that are full of anthias. For critter hunting and night dives we both love Bolung. Here we can find frogfish, ghostpipefishes and nudibranchs, plus at night we often find decorator crabs, octopus and even stargazers on its white sandy slope.

What types of diving are available in your location?

There are very shallow coral reefs surrounding all five islands within Bunaken National Parkpark — beyond the shallow reef, the seabed drops away very quickly, forming the beautiful walls that Bunaken is famed for. Many of these walls are vertical with huge caverns and overhangs, however some are more gentle slopes that allow more reef building corals to form. On the North Sulawesi mainland there are black sand sites that allow amazing muck diving. Close by, we also have white sand sites, which offer some beautiful coral reefs and gentle slopes. There is even a fairly intact (entirely sponge encrusted) wreck within easy access of the resort.

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

Working together in a dive resort that welcomes divers and snorkellers from around the world and sharing with them our passion for diving, snorkeling and uw photography and video is a great pleasure. Besides we have the privilege to dive and snorkel at world class sites every week.

What is your favorite underwater creature?

We both love cephalopods in general for their intelligence, capacity to camouflage, change colors and patterns…. We are fortunate enough to have many encounters with cephalopods in this area, from the tiny bobtail squid to the wonderful broadclub cuttlefish, the flamboyant cuttlefish, squids and Ana even filmed reef octopus mating. We could watch cephalopods for ever. And although we see them often, Ana has a soft spot for turtles.

As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?

The biggest problem we all face as divers and nature lovers is climate change and pollution. We need to work on these issues locally but even more importantly we need to address these issues worldwide.

Is your center involved in any environmental work?

Yes, we clean our beach daily and we organise very frequent island clean-ups. Not only do we clean this area, but we also separate the garbage trying to send as much as we possibly can to be recycled. We often have activities together with local school children to help bring awareness of the dangers of plastic pollution. We reduce our single plastic use as much as possible and all our vegetables and fruit peel leftovers are composted. We also protect the nests of turtles that hatch on our beach.

Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?

We are partnering with Coral Eye Resort in Bangka Island so that guests can have the best service in the best areas of North Sulawesi. We are getting one more boat; we want to make sure our boats are never crowded, besides we keep working to maintain and improve all our facilities.

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?

The industry is doing well and I am happy to see that there are more and more avid snorkellers and not only scuba divers. We would like to see more ocean protection worldwide to ensure the future generations get to enjoy the beautiful reef corals and marine life around the world.

Finally, what would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?

We give you a chance to explore some of the best snorkelling and diving sites in the world while providing you with comfortable accommodation, wonderful food and the best service. Staying in Siladen Resort & Spa you can do up to four dives or snorkelling sessions every day with very experienced guides, while staying in a safe and comfortable resort that aims to provide the best service to each guest.

Where can our visitors find out more about your business?

Visit our website www.siladen.com, find us on Instagram and Facebook (Siladen Resort & Spa) and contact us:

reservations@siladen.com

WA +62 811 44300641

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Marine Life & Conservation

Jeff chats to… Paul Cox, CEO of the Shark Trust about the Big Shark Pledge (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Paul Cox, CEO of the Shark Trust UK about the Big Shark Pledge.

The Big Shark Pledge aims to build one of the biggest campaigning communities in the history of shark conservation. To put pressure on governments and fisheries. And make the positive changes required to safeguard awesome sharks and rays.

Find out more at: www.bigsharkpledge.org and www.sharktrust.org.


Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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