Tybrind Vig – submerged site

In this short video, Fraser explains why Tybrind Vig is his favourite submerged landscape.

Tybrind Vig was the first submerged settlement excavated in Denmark between 1977 and 1987. The settlement is located 300m from the shore and 3m below the surface. Divers excavated well-preserved artefacts from the Ertebølle Culture. A large kitchen midden was also found.

Location of Tybrind Vig © pavalena/Shutterstock
Location of Tybrind Vig © pavalena/Shutterstock



Hi! I’m Dr Fraser Sturt and, true to form, I’m not going pick a wreck, but I’m actually going to pick a site – a submerged site – and my favourite submerged site is Tybrind Vig in Denmark. And the reason why it’s my favourite site is the fact that it gave us a huge amount to understanding Mesolithic archaeology through its decorated paddles and log boats. It also demonstrated what submerged worlds can be in an archaeological term. But there’s more than this.

One of the really exciting things about Tybrind Vig is it was actually discovered through a public competition. The magazine ‘Hjemmet’ in 1952 I think it was made a public competition to find earliest submerged site in the waters around Denmark… and this is just when SCUBA was coming in. And so there was a huge movement by people to go out into the waters and look for archaeology and they found truly significant sites which have changed our understanding and how we think of the archaeological record today.

So, Tybrind Vig is an amazing archaeological site. It was a pioneering site in terms of the excavation of submerged prehistoric sites, but it was also a really good example of citizen science. This was found by people interested in their heritage in their waters. So Tybrind Vig, for me, is amazing.

We cover Tybrind Vig in more detail in Week 4 of Shipwrecks and Submerged Worlds and Helen has also posted a video answering questions that were posed about this topic.

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