Tees Bay Submerged Forest

Beneath the muds and silts of the Tees Bay are the remains of a landscape that existed approximately eight thousand years ago. The submerged forest is probably best known from the exposure and subsequent archaeological investigations that have taken place in Hartlepool Bay.

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CT Trenchman (above) studied the deposits in the first part of the 20th century.

Environmental studies of the deposits indicate that this area was a marginal wetland similar to the Fens. Flint and bone tools, fish traps and wooden artifacts have been recovered from the peat indicating that this was a populated landscape during the Mesolithic and early Neolithic periods. The most exciting find was the grave of a Neolithic man. He had been laid in the ground in a crouched position and flints had been placed in the grave with him.

The submerged forest can occasionally be seen at low tide between Seaton Carew and Hartlepool but deposits also exist off the coast of Redcar.  In 1871, due to shifting sands, the deposits were exposed in three or four locations and remained exposed for a number of weeks. During this time local people collected and the peat, it was reported to smell like a a tannery when wet but when dried it was an excellent substitute for coal

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