Continental shelves/West European continental shelves
The continental shelves of the North Atlantic begin around Greenland and north eastern Canada toward the North east American continental shelves, the Caribbean continental shelves and the South American Continental shelves.
The continental shelves of the North Atlantic begin around Iceland, Scotland and Ireland toward the North west Britain continental shelves and the North Sea continental shelves. After the Iberian continental shelves are the North west African continental shelves.
On both sides of the North Atlantic are significant continental shelves that may have been occupied during the last glacial maximum (LGM).
North west Britain continental shelves[edit | edit source]
"Local Bathymetry and ocean currents [include in the image on the right] LSW:Labrador Sea Water; NADW:North Atlantic Deep Water; NSOW:Norwegian Sea Overflow Water)."
"Sediments near the top of the Ling Bank Formation at its type locality have been correlated with ‘type’ Holsteinian sections in Denmark and Germany (Knudsen and Sejrup, 1993). However, it is still widely believed that marine Holsteinian deposits, in general, directly overlie the major erosion surface at the top of the Aberdeen Ground Formation (P915281). There was, therefore, a widespread glaciation during the Elsterian stage, which involved ice flowing from Scandinavia into the southern North Sea (Cameron et al., 1992) and extending to the continental shelf edge north-west of Scotland (Stoker et al., 1994)."
"In the northern North Sea and on the West Shetland Shelf a widespread surface of marine erosion has been correlated with the OIS 4/3 boundary. It is overlain by the mainly arctic marine Cape Shore Formation, which is securely placed in the Middle Weichselian on several lines of evidence (Johnson et al., 1993; Skinner et al., 1986; Sejrup et al., 1994; Holmes, 1997). Thus the seas to the north and west of Scotland were also free of glacier ice during this stage and perhaps much of the Scottish mainland."
"At Clava, near Inverness, rafts of highboreal to low-arctic shallow marine mud originally deposited in Loch Ness, then a fjord, are probably early to middle Devensian in age (Merritt, 1992). The deposits correlate with those of the Bø Interstadial in Norway on amino-acid dating evidence (P915290). Rafts of broadly similar age have been located at the Boyne Limestone Quarry, King Edward and Gardenstown sites."
An "ice sheet [may have] extended to the continental shelf break, and beyond, to the north and west of Scotland (Holmes, 1991; Stoker and Holmes, 1991; Stoker et al., 1993; P915288). The resultant sediments are correlated on the basis of regional seismostratigraphy with Late Weichselian (OIS 2) deposits in the northern North Sea (Johnson et al., 1993). A radiocarbon date of about 22.5 ka BP from glaciomarine deposits within the limit of glaciation on the outer shelf to the west of St Kilda (Selby, 1989) appears to be consistent with the Late Devensian glacial maximum predating 18 ka BP (P915288)."
"Warm North Atlantic waters did not reach the north-east Atlantic and western Scotland until about 13 ka BP, when conditions changed from high arctic to boreal possibly in less than 50 years (Kroon et al., 1987; Peacock and Harkness, 1990)."
"The return of warm North Atlantic Drift waters to the Scottish seas occurred within a few decades just prior to 10,100 BP (Peacock and Harkness, 1990). At first sea temperatures were 2 to 3° lower than those of the present day, but a warming occurred at about 9600 BP."
Celtic Sea continental shelves[edit | edit source]
The Celtic Sea is the area of the Atlantic Ocean off the south coast of Ireland bounded to the east by Saint George's Channel.
The Celtic Sea receives its name from the Celtic heritage of the bounding lands to the north and east. The name was first proposed by Ernest William Lyons Holt at a 1921 meeting in Dublin of fisheries experts from England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and France. The desire for a common name came to be felt because of the common marine biology, geology and hydrology of the area. It was adopted in France before being common in the English-speaking countries.
"[T]he name Celtic Sea is hardly known even to oceanographers." It was adopted by marine biologists and oceanographers, and later by petroleum exploration firms. It is named in a 1963 British atlas,
"[W]hat British maps call the Western Approaches, and what the oil industry calls the Celtic Sea [...] certainly the residents on the western coast [of Great Britain] don't refer to it as such."
The definition approved in 1974 by the UK Hydrographer of the Navy for use in Admiralty Charts was "bounded roughly by lines joining Ushant, Land's End, Hartland Point, Lundy Island, St. Govan's Head and Rosslare Harbour, thence following the Irish coast south to Mizen Head and then along the 200-metre isobath to approximately the latitude of Ushant."
The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Celtic Sea as follows:
On the North. The Southern limit of the Irish Sea [a line joining St David's Head to Carnsore Point], the South coast of Ireland, thence from Mizen Head a line drawn to a position 51° 0' N 11° 30' W.
On the West and South. A line from the position 51° 0' N 11° 30' W South to 49th parallel north (49°N), thence to latitude 46°30'N on the Western limit of the Bay of Biscay [a line joining Cape Ortegal to Penmarch Point], thence along that line to Penmarch Point.
On the East. The Western limit of the English Channel [a line joining Île Vierge to Land's End] and the Western limit of the Bristol Channel [a line joining Hartland Point to St. Govan's Head].
The seabed under the Celtic Sea is called the Celtic Shelf, part of the continental shelf of Europe. The northeast portion has a depth of between 90 and 100 m (300–330 ft), increasing towards Saint George's Channel. In the opposite direction, sand ridges pointing southwest have a similar height, separated by troughs approximately 50 m (160 ft) deeper. These ridges were formed by tidal effects when the sea level was lower. South of 50th parallel north (50°N) the topography is more irregular.
Bay of Biscay shelves[edit | edit source]
As can be seen in the image on the right, most of the continental shelf of the Bay of Biscay is less than 300 m in depth. "The isobath corresponds to -1000 m."
"A distinctive feature is the wide of the continental shelf along the French coast, especially the northern area, ranging from 60 to over 200 km and with a very gentle slope of 0.12% . In contrast, the southern coast is characterized by a narrower continental shelf (7–20 km wide)."
On the left is a geological map of the Bay of Biscay and Pyrenees showing the major tectonic structures and extensional domains (zonation established after Thinon 1999 and Jammes et al. 2009), offshore geology (continental crust ~200-300 m depth and magnetic anomalies are based on Sibuet et al. (2004).
Solutreans[edit | edit source]
The Solutrean industry was named by Louis Laurent Gabriel de Mortillet to describe the second stage of his system of cave chronology, following the Mousterian, and he considered it synchronous with the third division of the Quaternary period.
As a cultural stage of the Paleolithic, the Solutréen was first used by Gabriel de Mortillet in 1869.
Solutrean finds have been made in the caves of Les Eyzies and Laugerie Haute, and in the Lower Beds of Creswell Crags in Derbyshire, England There was a brief settlement of the Solutrene the Magdalena Cave in the Eifel.
At the type locality near Solutré-Pouilly there were some 18 × 9 meter fire pits on which several animals could be fried at the same time with numerous bones of wild horses found on a steep mountain slope, which became "horse magma" by precipitation of lime in combination with water and sediment after baking and covered more than one hectare of land, reaching thicknesses of up to one meter indicating more than 10,000 wild horses were killed.
Basques[edit | edit source]
From c. 16,000 BC, the warmer climate allowed the expansion of proto-Basque groups, or proto-Europeans, across the north of Africa and the entire continent of Europe, expanding the Magdalenian culture across Europe.
The current Basque language may be the remainder of a group of "Basque languages" that were spoken in the Paleolithic throughout western Europe and that retreated with the progress of the Indo-European languages which coincides with the homogeneous distribution of the Haplogroup R1b (Y-DNA) in Atlantic Europe.
"The most plausible candidates for the ancient languages of the Iberian refuge are the Basque languages still spoken by about half a million people in the Basque area of Spain and France. Earlier, there were several languages belonging to this language group, but mainly because of the intensive spread of IE languages in Western Europe, the area of the Basque languages has shrunk ever since. It is probable that the entire Atlantic Coast was linguistically Basque during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and the millennia after it. The area was homogeneous also in respect to subsistence system and genetics: the men were reindeer hunters and their main Y-chromosome haplogroup was R1b."
The haplogroup R1b (Y-DNA) can be found most frequently in the Basque Country (91%), Wales (89%) and Ireland (81%). The current population of the R1b in western Europe are almost totally R1b1c (R1b1b2 or R1b3). They repopulated Western Europe. The rare variety R1b1c4 (R1b1b2a2c) has almost always been found among the Basque people, both in the Northern and Southern Basque Country. The variety R1b1c6 (R1b1b2a2d) registers a high incidence in the Basque population, 19%. The Y-DNA haplogroup R1b (R-M269) (R1b1a2) is also prominent among the Bashkirs of the Volga Federal District.
"Wiik's controversial ideas are rejected by the majority of the scholarly community, but they have attracted the enormous interest of a wider audience."
Through detailed DNA analysis of samples from French and Spanish Basque regions, the Basques share unique genetic patterns that distinguish them from the surrounding non-Basque populations. The results of the study clearly support the hypothesis of a partial genetic continuity of contemporary Basques with the preceding Paleolithic/Mesolithic settlers of their homeland.
Paleogenetic investigations indicate that the Basque people have a genetic profile coincident with the rest of the European population and that goes back to Prehistoric times. The haplotype of the mitochondrial DNA known as U5 entered in Europe during the Upper Paleolithic and developed varieties as the U8a, native of the Basque Country, which is considered to be Prehistoric, and as the J group, which is also frequent in the Basque population.
Mitochondrial DNA of the Human remains found in the Prehistoric graveyard of Alaieta, in Alava, note that there are no differences between these remains and others found across Atlantic Europe
The Y chromosome genetically relates the Basques with the Celts, Welsh, and Irish; The current inhabitants of the British Isles have their origin in the Basque refuge during the last Ice age per the study of correspondences in the frequencies of genetic markers between various European regions.
The Basques are genetically indistinguishable from the rest of Iberians.
Basques may be descendants of Neolithic farmers who mixed with local hunters before becoming genetically isolated from the rest of Europe for millennia. The people of northern Spain and southern France are an amalgam of early Iberian farmers and local hunters.
Genetic material from eight Stone Age human skeletons found in El Portalón Cavern in the Atapuerca Mountains, northern Spain, who lived between 3,500 and 5,500 years ago, after the transition to farming in southwest Europe, show that these early Iberian farmers are the closest ancestors to present-day Basques.
"Our results show that the Basques trace their ancestry to early farming groups from Iberia, which contradicts previous views of them being a remnant population that trace their ancestry to Mesolithic hunter-gatherer groups."
Referring to the map second down on the right, in present-day Biscay, Gipuzkoa, and Álava were located the Caristii, Varduli, and Autrigones.
The Ouaskonous (Vascones) inhabited the area around the town of Pompelo, and the coastal town of Oiasona in Hispania, other tribes between them and the Cantabrians: the Varduli, Caristii, and Autrigones. The coastal Oeasso are listed beside the Pyrénées to the Vascones, together with 15 inland towns, including Pompelon. Pompelo/Pompelon is easily identified as modern-day Pamplona, Navarre; the border port of Irún, where a Roman harbour and other remains have been uncovered, is the accepted identification of the coastal town mentioned by Strabo and Ptolemy. Three inscriptions in an early form of Basque found in eastern Navarre can be associated with the Vascones.
Across the border in what is now France, the Aquitani tribes of Gascony spoke a language different from the Celts and were more like the Iberi. Although no complete inscription in their language survives, a number of personal names were recorded in Latin inscriptions, which attest to Aquitanian being the precursor of modern Basque (this extinct Aquitanian language should not be confused with Occitan, a Romance language spoken in Aquitaine since the beginning of the Middle Ages).
Portugal shelves[edit | edit source]
The continental shelf has an area of 28,000 square kilometres (11,000 sq mi), although its width is variable from 150 kilometres (93 mi) in the north to 25 kilometres (16 mi) in the south.
Iberian continental shelves[edit | edit source]
In the images on the left, sea level during the last glaciation is likely at or above the yellow contour band. This appears to be the sea level delimiter in the second image down on the right.
"The first remains of large pelagic (or open-sea) fish, such as tuna, do not appear until around 25,000 to 30,000 B.P., from sites such as Gorham's Cave, Gibraltar. [...] Some pelagic fish, such as tuna, and small cetaceans could have been caught with the aid of local landforms in certain topography. For instance, pelagic taxa can be fished from on-shore coastal rock platforms situated next to deep water. [...] Thus, it cannot be assumed that once pelagic fish remains are found in the archaeological record, watercraft must have been invented. If watercraft were not used, this implies the use of cordage and spear points, hooks, and/or gorges (Anderson 2010:5)." When first inhabited some 55,000 years ago, Gorham's Cave would have been approximately 5 km from shore, but, due to changes in sea level, it is now only a few metres from the Mediterranean Sea. Gorham's Cave is considered to be one of the last known habitations of the Neanderthals in Europe and gives its name to the Gorham's Cave complex, which is a combination of four distinct caves, where the three other caves are Vanguard Cave, Hyaena Cave, and Bennett's Cave. Level III at Gorham's Cave has yielded at least 240 Upper Paleolithic artefacts of Magdalenian and Solutrean origin.
The list of animals eaten in Vanguard include common bream, dolphins, sea urchins, and bluefin tuna.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
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Shergold, Vernon G. (27 January 1972). Celtic Sea: a good name, In: The Times. p. 20.
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- Los británicos descienden de los vascos de la Edad de Hielo. elcorreodigital.com
- Británicos de origen vasco
- Genes link Celts to Basques "On the Y-chromosome, the Celtic populations turn out to be statistically indistinguishable from the Basques," Professor Goldstein said.
- Domínguez, Nuño (19 February 2010). "Los genes de los vascos no son diferentes". El Público (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 21 February 2010. Retrieved 21 February 2010. Unknown parameter
- Ancient DNA Elucidates Basque Origins. By Bob Grant | September 9, 2015, thescientist.com.
- Ancient DNA cracks puzzle of Basque origins, BBC, 7 September 2015, Mattias Jakobsson.
- Ancient genomes link early farmers from Atapuerca in Spain to modern-day Basques, September 9, 2015, Mattias Jakobsson
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- Goreham's Cave complex, UNESCO tentative list, retrieved 4 August 2014
- Gorham's Cave Complex, UNESCO tentative sites list. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- Bichu, Nuno F.; et al. (2011). Trekking the Shore: Changing Coastlines and the Antiquity of Coastal Settlement 200-300. Springer. p. 496.
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