Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Prehistoric Forest Rises From the Dead

A prehistoric forest, buried over 4,500 years ago, has reemerged in the Cardigan Bay off the western coast of Wales. The resulting scene is graveyard-esque. Recent storms stripped away the sands that once covered the oak, pine, birch, and alder trees of Borth forest.

It's no secret that Britain has had an unusual storm season. Just earlier this month, the Museum of London Archaeology recruited a "volunteer army" of British citizens to help record items washed up in thousands of sites around the UK. Artifacts have been uncovered by storms and flood tides over the winter and the Borth forest is only the latest arrival. The forest once stretched for miles along the Welsh coast before climate change and rising sea levels buried it under layers of peat, sand, and saltwater.


Image sources: theguardian.com and betanews.com
Image source: theguardian.com
Image sources: theguardian.com and shutupandtakemymoney.com


Borth forest is linked to the legendary sunken kingdom of Cantre'r Gwaelod or the "Welsh Atlantis." Different versions of the kingdom's disappearance exist, including a maiden letting a well overflow and  a prince who left the town's floodgates open. Each story concludes with the sea sweeping through and submerging the kingdom.

The trees of Borth are not a new discovery. In the past, human and animal footprints, as well as remnants of a fireplace were found preserved in a layer of peat in a separate location from the recently emerged strip of forest.

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