The Mediterranean and the Black Sea: Introduction

Nena Galanidou, Geoff Bailey

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The chapters in this section cover a very large area and two major marine basins, reflecting the somewhat scattered distribution of underwater finds and the patchy record of underwater research. Nevertheless, there are concentrations of finds with a detail and quality of evidence to match the best that has been found around the coastlines of north-west Europe. The evidence also includes types of sites and preservation of material items that have no equivalent elsewhere, including submerged village settlements with timber-built platforms and dwelling structures, and settlements with remains of stone-built dwellings, burials, street plans, water wells and other features. Most of these sites are Neolithic or Bronze Age in date, but there are also earlier finds extending back as far as the Middle Palaeolithic. The types of sites represented also include underwater caves containing deposits with palaeontological and archaeological remains. Sea-level change presents a complex story in this region, especially around the coastlines of southern Italy and the Aegean and the Black Sea, and intensive research has focussed on this issue, with implications for the changing palaeogeography of coastlines and islands and the possibility of sea crossings and maritime connections. This introductory overview brings together results from the chapters in this section under four main themes: underwater caves, sea crossings, mapping of submerged landscapes and predictive modelling of underwater site locations and underwater settlements. New and active research is under way in some regions, including the extension of mapping and site survey to more deeply submerged areas of the continental shelf. These results suggest very considerable potential for new discoveries and the need to extend underwater research to other coastal states that have so far made little or no contribution to the prehistoric archaeology of submerged landscapes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Archaeology of Europe’s Drowned Landscapes
EditorsGeoffrey Bailey, Nena Galanidou, Hans Peeters, Hauke Jöns, Moritz Mennenga
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic) 9783030373672
ISBN (Print) 9783030373665
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameCoastal Research Library
ISSN (Print)2211-0577
ISSN (Electronic)2211-0585

Bibliographical note

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2020. This book is an open access publication. Open Access This book is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons
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  • Underwater caves
  • Palaeolithic
  • Neolithic
  • Bronze Age
  • Submerged landscapes
  • Predictive modelling


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