The Archipelago – the work of ice

Why the work of ice?

The South Funen Archipelago is the world’s largest flooded glacial landscape. We have 55 islands and islets here in the archipelago, all of which are a part of this; the work of ice. And under the sea is the landscape that has been here since the last Ice Age.

The islands are the hills that used to be part of a single area of land that the Archipelago was back then (actually, after the last Ice Age Denmark was connected to southern England). Strynø was just a small hilltop connected to a high plateau northwards to the islands of Tåsinge and Langeland. At the beginning, the Archipelago was only separated from Funen by the narrow Svendborg Sund.

Who can tell us about the South Funen Archipelago of the past?

Geologists and archaeologists helps us get a picture of the Archipelago. They all work in their own way and can tell you about different things. A geologist can tell us about the landscape. An archaeologist will tell us about the people.

What is a geologist?

A geologist looks for answers on how the Earth’s climate and appearance have changed over time. The geologist searches in the soil and looks at the layers of materials deposited through time. In each period of Earth’s history different materials have been deposited, e.g. chalk or clay or sand. And each period has some characteristic fossils (fossils are the hardened remains of animals and plants that have been buried in the ground for many thousands of years).

By looking at both materials and fossils, a geologist can say something about what the climate has been like here on Earth at that time and at the same time, a geologist can also tell what Denmark, the South Funen Archipelago included, used to look back then.

What is an archaeologist?

An archaeologist digs in the ground in search for clues from humans from the past. Archaeologists dig, for instance, when new houses or underground stations have to be built. If the archaeologist is lucky, excavations may reveal how people of the past used to live. And what they used to eat. With the help of archaeologists’ findings, we can say something about how Aske, Knirke and Jord used to live, what they ate, how they went through their life, how they hunted.

Archaeologists’ findings here in the South Funen archipelago also show a lot about what the landscape looked like in the Stone Age. Many have emerged from the waters off the coasts of the Archipelago. This shows us where the coastline used to be at the time.

Several ways to talk about the past

Archaeologists and historians talk about “before the common era”. In other words, before year 0, when the common era begins.

Geologists talk about a certain number of years “before now”, i.e. from around today. Thus the geologist adds about 2,000 years more compared to the archaeologist and the historian.

Learn fun things about the Archipelago – the work of ice – in Nørderiet here below. Visit the exhibition “Over Ø og Hav” (Above Island and Sea) with us on Strynø and learn even more. Get a sneak peek of the other themes from the exhibition here:

The shallow waterStrynøNatureThe Birds