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Geology and Archaeology: Submerged Landscapes of the Continental Shelf
Sea-level change has influenced human population globally since prehistoric times. Even in early phases of cultural development human populations were faced with marine regression and transgression as a result of changing climate and corresponding glacio-isostatic adjustment. Global marine regression during the last glaciation changed the palaeogeography of the continental shelf, converting former marine environments to attractive terrestrial habitats for prehistoric humans. These areas of the shelf were used as hunting and gathering areas, as migration routes between continents, and most probably witnessed the earliest developments in seafaring and marine exploitation, until the postglacial transgression re-submerged these palaeo-landscapes. Based on modern marine research technologies and the integration of large databases, proxy data are increasingly available for the reconstruction of Quaternary submerged landscapes. Also, prehistoric archaeological remains from the recent sea bottom are shedding new light on human prehistoric development driven by rapidly changing climate and environment. This publication contributes to the exchange of ideas and new results in this young and challenging field of underwater palaeoenvironmental investigation.