Podcast: The story behind the “first Brexit”

Had it not been for an earthquake and an ensuing tsunami, it might have been possible to walk between England and Denmark. BBC’s latest Sunday Feature podcast traces how Britain came to be an island

Eight thousand years ago, the area between what is now Britain and the Continent was a fertile land of rivers, forests and hills, inhabited by our forefathers. It might even have still been possible to walk between England and Denmark, despite rising water levels following the last ice-age. That all ended when a huge underwater landslide off the coast of Norway created a tsunami that flooded this landscape submerging the Dogger Hills and creating the North Sea and the English Channel - "the first Brexit".

The celebrated Danish feature-maker Rikke Houd accompanies a team of maritime archaeologists to a Mesolithic site at Bouldnor Cliff, off the southern coast of England. The team races against time and the tide to explore layers of sediment that bury memories of prehistoric existence. As the currents reveal treasures held for thousands of years in the mud, they become vulnerable to being washed away for ever. At every opportunity they retrieve artefacts from this settlement that reimagine the understood chronology of human development in these parts - its climate, skills and lifestyle .

Listen to the Sunday Feature podcast here.

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