Yorkshire’s misplaced ‘Atlantis’ almost discovered, says Hull professor | Hull

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Hopes are excessive {that a} fabled medieval city referred to as “Yorkshire’s Atlantis” is about to be situated and can start giving up secrets and techniques held for greater than 650 years.

Ravenser Odd was a affluent port city constructed on sandbanks on the mouth of the Humber estuary earlier than it was deserted and later destroyed and submerged by a calamitous storm in 1362.

Daniel Parsons, a professor in sedimentology on the College of Hull, was on a household day trip to the seaside at Withernsea when he discovered about Ravenser Odd, one of many largest of a lot of locations on the Holderness coast which were misplaced over the centuries on account of coastal erosion.

He acquired chatting to the historian Phil Mathison. “He was telling me that at low tide native lobster vessels have seen disturbances on the floor suggesting there are precise remnants of the city on the seabed.”

Map of Humber estuary showing predicted location of Ravenser Odd.

He began studying extra in regards to the fascinating historical past of Ravenser Odd and the concept began to type. Parsons is a geoscientist who makes use of high-resolution sonar techniques to higher perceive how sediments transfer round. May, he requested himself, the tools be used to seek out this misplaced Atlantis, and will the story be used to shine gentle on the coastal erosion risk confronted by communities right now?

Cash was raised for a analysis challenge which resulted in a survey of an space off Spurn Point of about 10 hectares final 12 months. It didn’t find Ravenser Odd, however they had been shut, Parsons believes, and a second survey will happen in two to 3 weeks’ time.

A survey of the area off Spurn Point.
Cash was raised for a analysis challenge which resulted in a survey of an space off Spurn Level of about 10 hectares final 12 months. {Photograph}: c/o Hull College

“We predict we had been a bit of bit too far to the east,” he stated. “Given the tales we’ve had from the parents on the lobster vessels, I’m fairly assured we are going to discover one thing.”

As soon as it’s situated, it’s hoped that cash could be raised for archaeological exploration – and who is aware of what might then be discovered, Parsons stated.

Ravenser Odd was based round 1235 with its title stemming from the Previous Norse hrafn’s eyr (raven’s tongue). It became a town of national importance with wharves, warehouses, a court docket and a jail. It had two members of parliament and picked up dues from greater than 100 service provider ships a 12 months.

It additionally had a seawall and a harbour. “These issues aren’t simply washed away,” stated Parsons. “Having checked out historic websites and locations which were misplaced in an identical manner, similar to within the Bay of Naples, what you have a tendency to seek out is that the foundations of those settlements are nonetheless there.”

The Ravenser Odd survey from November 2021 searched an area off Spurn Point.
The Ravenser Odd survey from November 2021 searched an space off Spurn Level. {Photograph}: c/o Hull College

Coastal erosion introduced in regards to the city’s decline and it was flooded by the center of the 14th century. In 1362, northern Europe was hit by a horrible storm known as the Grote Mandrenke storm, or Saint Marcellus’s flood, which led to the city being fully submerged within the chilly waters of the North Sea.

Parsons is director of the university’s energy and environment institute and thinks the story of Ravenser Odd could possibly be used to have interaction with folks in regards to the risks posed by the local weather disaster and coastal erosion, significantly given the Holderness coast is likely one of the most quickly eroding coastlines on the planet with some areas retreating as much as 10 metres a 12 months.

“Understanding the previous helps us put together higher sooner or later,” he stated.

“Ravenser Odd is an extremely evocative story of the impacts of coastal change on whole settlements.

“I believe it’s a unbelievable method to begin conversations with folks on the impacts of local weather change lengthy in to the long run by utilizing these tales from the previous.”

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