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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 February, 2004, 11:32 GMT
Scientists discover lost world
A prehistoric lost world under the North Sea has been mapped by scientists from the University of Birmingham.

The team used earthquake data to devise a 3D reconstruction of the 10,000-year-old plain.

The area, part of a land mass that once joined Britain to northern Europe, disappeared about 8,000 years ago.

The virtual features they have developed include a river the length of the Thames which disappeared when its valley flooded due to glaciers melting.

This is the most exciting and challenging virtual reality project since Virtual Stonehenge.
Professor Bob Stone

Professor Bob Stone, head of the Department of Engineering's Human Interface Technology Team, said they were working to ensure the visual accuracy of the environment.

"This is the most exciting and challenging virtual reality project since Virtual Stonehenge in 1996.

"We are basing the computer-generated flora on pollen and plant traces extracted from geological core samples retrieved from the sea bed."

Dr Vincent Gaffney, director of the University's Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity and lead investigator on the project said they still had a lot of work to do.

"We intend to extend the project to visualise the whole of the now submerged land bridge that previously joined Britain to northern Europe as one land mass, providing scientists with a new insight into the previous human occupation of the North Sea."

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