Geophysical and geotechnical assessments of a submerged Ertebølle settlement in Horsens Fjord, Denmark

Author: Francis Joseph Stankiewicz

Stankiewicz, Francis Joseph, 2019 Geophysical and geotechnical assessments of a submerged Ertebølle settlement in Horsens Fjord, Denmark, Flinders University, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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Archaeological research within Horsens Fjord, Denmark, located on the eastern portion of the Jutland, has allowed for further knowledge and a better understanding of the Ertebølle culture (ca. 7400–6000 cal BP). Well-preserved subsurface and surface artifacts have been and continue to be identified within the fjord’s waters. The settlement’s original location along the shoreline has allowed for rising waters and marine sediments to submerge or bury any remnant anthropogenic material. Despite the rising sea-level, modern day waters and sediments within Horsens Fjord provide favorable conditions for artifact preservation. This has occurred as a consequence of a nutrient rich and eutrophic environment. To study this environment both in a broad and detailed scale, a multidisciplinary approach was used employing a suite of methodological applications with a focus on high resolution Innomar ISE 2000 subbottom profiler and Edgetech 4125 sidescan sonar, an auger corer and the use of a high accuracy Trimble R8 RTK GPS. Such well-preserved sites, with the use of high resolution geophysical and geotechnical data, offer a rare glimpse into the extents and correlations among paleolandscapes and prehistoric cultures. The use of geophysical and geotechnical methods advances the knowledge of past cultures and the techniques in which they are identified.

Keywords: Auger core, Ertebolle culture, geotechnical, marine geophysics, Mesolithic, prehistoric archaeology, sidescan sonar, subbottom.

Subject: Archaeology thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2019
School: College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Supervisor: Dr. Jonathan Benjamin