A new early Holocene shoreline displacement record for Blekinge, southern Sweden, and implications for underwater archaeology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We present evidence of a submerged early Holocene landscape off the Blekinge coastline in the Baltic Sea, dating to the Yoldia Sea and Initial Littorina Sea Stages when the water level was lower than at present. 14C dated wood remains obtained by surveillance diving and new archaeological findings in combination with bathymetric analyses and interpolations between other sites across the Baltic Sea were used for refinement of the shoreline displacement history of the region. The new results reveal a Yoldia Sea lowstand level at 20 m b.s.l., a subsequent Ancylus Lake highstand at 3 m a.s.l., and then a period of relatively stable water level at about 4 m b.s.l. during the Initial Littorina Sea Stage, several metres lower than previously concluded. The refined shoreline displacement record was used for palaeo‐reconstructions of the study area during four key periods, the Yoldia Sea lowstand phase, the Ancylus Lake transgression phase, the Ancylus Lake highstand phase and the Initial Littorina Sea lowstand phase, using elevation data and map algebra functions. A flow accumulation algorithm was used for reconstruction of the now submerged prehistoric river network in order to identify areas of high archaeological potential. Our revised shoreline displacement record, and especially its lowstand period during the Initial Littorina Sea Stage around 9500–8500 cal. a BP, raises future demands not only for specific archaeological shallow‐water surveys down to 4 m b.s.l. in the area, but also for a renewed cultural heritage management strategy. The results of this study fill an important gap in the early Holocene part of the shoreline displacement history of Blekinge, contributing to its completion since the deglaciation, which is unique for the Baltic Sea.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Geology
  • Archaeology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-71
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Early online date2018 Jul 30
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan
Publication categoryResearch

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Anton Hansson, 2018 May, Lund: Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geology, Quaternary Sciences. 149 p.

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