Skip to comments.Underwater City Could Be Revealed (UK)
Posted on 01/18/2008 11:00:03 AM PST by blam
Underwater city could be revealed
Sonar, underwater camera and scanning equipment will be used
Britain's own underwater "Atlantis" could be revealed for the first time with hi-tech underwater cameras. Marine archaeologist Stuart Bacon and Professor David Sear, of the University of Southampton, will explore the lost city of Dunwich, off the Suffolk coast.
Dunwich gradually disappeared into the sea because of coastal erosion.
"It's about the application of new technology to investigate Britain's Atlantis, then to give this information to the public," Professor Sear said.
Mr Bacon, director of the Suffolk Underwater Studies, first located the debris of the lost city in the 1970s.
"I know the site like the back of my hand because I have dived on it about 1,000 times," said Mr Bacon who has been working on the medieval site since 1971.
"We have found three churches and one chapel."
There is diving evidence of debris from lost chapels and churches but high silt levels in the water means visibility is only a few centimetres.
Dunwich has been dubbed the UK's 'Atlantis'
Mr Sear, professor in physical geography at the University of Southampton, said: "Technical advances have massively improved our ability to create accurate acoustic images of the seafloor."
The expedition will use the latest sonar, underwater camera and scanning equipment to build up a picture of the ancient sunken city, that lies between 10ft (3m) and 50ft (15m) down.
Dunwich was the capital of East Anglia 1,500 years ago.
Its decline began in 1286 when a sea surge hit the East Anglian coast and it was eventually reduced through coastal erosion to the village it is today.
Mr Bacon and Professor Sear hope to begin exploring the seabed in June.
The expedition will cost £25,000 - £20,000 of which has already been raised through a donation from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.
Maps and images of the lost city will be exhibited at the Dunwich museum.
A dive of the site will take place later in the year.
The lost city is called Dunwich? DUNWICH?
It’s missing for a reason Professor!
Oh! The HORROR of it!
What’s a Dunwich? Is it a bad thing?
Maybe it’s the lost continent of Mu.
it's some whore...
Thanks Blam and Renfield.
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Letting things that have lain silent under the sea for a millienia named Dunwich rise again. Not a good idea. (Iaaah!)
We should have stopped global warming before Dunwich was lost.
Deli’s are grateful there wasn’t an Earl of Dunwhich.
It was lovingly crafted by indigenous people before ancient "gorebull" warming forced them to run for higher ground.
Heh, heh. Good one!
It’s true we should have saved Dunwich but there was too much CO2 in the air by 1500 years ago. But seriesly, I do hope this medieval site is well preserved to the extent it could be since it’s under water.
It’s a little known fact, but the last Mayor of Dunwich watched as the town subsided under the sea and renamed it “Dunwith”
Ok, I’m clued up. Thanks.
Now, question: Are we gonna get a head of the curve and bomb this thing back into the water? Or wait until it’s too late and it’s eating people, like usual?
Ok. That was actually two questions. Or one really badly worded question. Not sure which.
Dunwich, fourteen miles south of Lowestoft, was once a thriving port, and in the 14th century similar in size to London. However, storms, erosion and floods over the past six centuries have almost wiped out this once prosperous city, and the Dunwich of today is a quiet coastal village.
The project will use the latest underwater acoustic imaging technology to assess the existence of any remains from the city that lies between 10ft (3m) and 50ft (15m) down.
Diving evidence suggests the site contains debris from at least two churches and a priory, but underwater visibility at the location is very poor, and no one has any idea what remains (if any) exist from the medieval settlement that was lost in the 13th and 14th centuries.
The city-scale survey of the sea floor will provide information on the location and state of any structures of archaeological interest in relation to historical records. The findings will be presented as a new public display for the Dunwich Museum, documenting the technology used and what the project has revealed of the lost city.
52º 16’ 42.40” N 1º 38’ 1.01” E
One of the greatest prizes of the sea is the ancient city of Dunwich, which dates back to the Roman era. The Domesday Survey shows that it was then a considerable town having 236 burgesses. It was girt with strong walls; it possessed an episcopal palace, the seat of the East Anglian bishopric; it had (so Stow asserts) fifty-two churches, a monastery, brazen gates, a town hall, hospitals, and the dignity of possessing a mint. Stow tells of its departed glories, its royal and episcopal palaces, the sumptuous mansion of the mayor, its numerous churches and its windmills, its harbour crowded with shipping, which sent forth forty vessels for the king's service in the thirteenth century. Though Dunwich was an important place, Stow's description of it is rather exaggerated. It could never have had more than ten churches and monasteries. Its "brazen gates" are mythical, though it had its Lepers' Gate, South Gate, and others. It was once a thriving city of wealthy merchants and industrious fishermen. King John granted to it a charter. It suffered from the attacks of armed men as well as from the ravages of the sea. Earl Bigot and the revolting barons besieged it in the reign of Edward I. Its decay was gradual. In 1342, in the parish of St. Nicholas, out of three hundred houses only eighteen remained. Only seven out of a hundred houses were standing in the parish of St. Martin. St. Peter's parish was devastated and depopulated. It had a small round church, like that at Cambridge, called the Temple, once the property of the Knights Templars, richly endowed with costly gifts. This was a place of sanctuary, as were the other churches in the city. With the destruction of the houses came also the decay of the port which no ships could enter. Its rival, Southwold, attracted the vessels of strangers. The markets and fairs were deserted. Silence and ruin reigned over the doomed town, and the ruined church of All Saints is all that remains of its former glories, save what the storms sometimes toss along the beach for the study and edification of antiquaries.I'm amazed I remembered all this from a Anglosphere history course I took 9 years ago.
Please Note, the English Dunwich is pronounced “Dun’itch” not “Dun-wich”
I can see the familiar phrase “Now ya’ve dun’itch!”
I thought he said "Dunwithit."
VERY cool site. Thanks you.
How can anyone not love Lovecraft?
I saw the movie at a theater.
They even had Sir Graves Ghastly make an appearance before the movie. They carried a coffin in, and he climbed out.
I really, really hoped the new Cloverfield movie would have been about C’thulhu.:-(
The entry for Dunwich shows that it was one of the largest ports on the east coast, with a thriving fishing industry and around 3,000 residents. The 'gift' or tax it paid that year - 68,000 herrings - was more than that of any other Suffolk port. However, this entry also warns that Dunwich lost half of its farmland to erosion along the coast between 1066 and 1086.
Go check out lolcthulhu...
Well, now I know what to name my band. Fascinating history, though.
William the Conqueror brought over SUVs.
I think his last name was Waters. But anyway, he waved goodbye.
There was an old local story about one of the towns that vanished this way (perhaps it was Dunwich) that on quiet nights one could hear the church bells tolling under the sea. :’) Nice spooky story, not true of course. ;’)
I’d read about this place when I was debating on where to go in East Anglia years ago. Apparently a couple of parts of the old town were still visible at low tide, or very lightly submerged?
The riddle of Rogem Hiri remains unsolved. Those who built it some 5,000 years ago left the stage of history and took with them the secrets of this unusual site...
Gilgal Refaim (Rogem Hiri in arabic, though why an Israeli website would use an arab name escapes me,) is where - IIRC - Goliath came from.
They didn’t have shopping carts and Five O’Clock vodka 5,000 years ago...