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Last Updated: Monday, 14 January 2008, 13:00 GMT
Underwater city could be revealed
Dunwich - Copyright Suffolk County Council
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.

Technical advances

"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.

Drawing of Atlantis
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.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The expedition has been called the most ambitious ever



SEE ALSO
Fight on to save Stone Age Atlantis
08 Aug 07 |  Hampshire
Satellite images 'show Atlantis'
06 Jun 04 |  Science/Nature
Hunt for Lost City of Atlantis
30 Oct 03 |  Europe
Return to dramatic Atlantic vents
17 Apr 03 |  Science/Nature
Atlantis 'obviously near Gibraltar'
20 Sep 01 |  Science/Nature

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