Illustration Reproduced from a 1916 Societe Jersiaise Bulletin

The illustration shows the contours of North-Western France and the Channel Islands during Neolithic times when the land was about 100 feet higher above sea level than at present. The neolithic period was about 17,000 years ago.

The lighter grey portions (now submerged) were forest land at that time. Even today at low tide in St Ouens Bay you can still see the petrified remains of the rooted stumps of trees in great numbers. Local geologists have found in excess of 200 of these stump at low spring tides. The discovery of the rooted stump of a large oak tree clearly indicated that at that time the land must have stood at an elevation considerably higher than it does at present, for large forest trees will not grow on a low and exposed shore.

I am no geologist, but it must have been fascinating to find Neolithic flint arrowheads and skeletal remains and such like buried amongst the sands of St. Ouen’s bay knowing they had been untouched for thousands of years. To me, one of the most fascinating finds must have been the discovery of hoof prints of herds of Bos Longifons, a deer type of animal that roamed the lands. The hoof prints were still clearly impressed in the boggy soil and thickly covered in fine blown sand and thus preserved, and, as the centuries rolled on, gradually submerged.

It must have been almost as if those old had just got up and started telling their story. But that could never happen in reality, could it ?