Sinking Coasts – Geosphere, Ecosphere und Anthroposphere of the Holocene Southern Baltic Sea Coast

Between 2002 and 2010, DFG-funded geo-archaeological surveys were carried out with the aim of studying the intensity of the sea level rise caused by climatic developments and geological processes and the resulting shoreline displacements within the southwestern Baltic Sea area. The Lower Saxony Institute for Historical Coastal Research (NIhK) was participating in these investigations, represented by Prof. Dr. H. Jöns (bundle-project: Settlement History) und Dr. S. Wolters (Landscape Development).
The main focus of the archaeological bundle-project was the clarification of whether and, if so, to what extent the prehistoric communities adapted to the changing environmental conditions.
Dr. Wolters undertook palynological and macro remains analyses on samples from two sections with Mesolithic occupation layers, recovered from Wismar Bay in the course of underwater excavations. Additionally, in order to achieve an exact chronological understanding of the landscape changes, both CNS identifications and radiocarbon determinations were carried out. The results confirmed that at both sites transgression contacts occurred in the period between 5900 BC and 5500 BC. This was preceded at both sites by an increase in soil wetness through rising groundwater levels, lasting for about 150 years.



Harff, J., Jöns, H. u. Lüth, F., 2005: Die DFG-Forschergruppe Sinking Coasts (SINCOS). Jahrbuch der Bodendenkmalpflege in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 52, 35–42.

Hartz, S., Jöns, H., Lübke, H., Schmölcke, U., von Carnap-Bornheim, C., Heinrich, D., Klooß, S., Lüth, F. & Wolters, S. 2014: Prehistoric Settlements in the southwestern Baltic Sea area and development of the regional Stone Age economy. Bericht der Römisch-Germanischen Kommission, 92 (2011): 77–210.

Jöns, H., Lübke, H., Lüth, F. u. Terberger, T., 2007: Prehistoric settlements and development of the regional economic area. Archaeological investigations along the Northeast-German Baltic Sea coast. Bericht der Römisch-Germanischen Kommission 88, 149-188.

Jöns, H., 2011: Settlement development in the shadow of coastal changes - case studies from the Baltic rim. In: J. Harff / S. Björck / P. Hoth (Ed.) The Baltic Sea basin. Berlin-Heidelberg. 301-336.