This cedar tree root was discovered at Seapoint Beach in Kittery. It is a relic from an extensive sunken forest buried beneath our local shoreline. Scientists estimate that, ca. 3600 years ago, the landmass of New England extended about 75 miles further east than where it is today. When the glaciers melted, ocean levels rose significantly. The forest was likely submerged even before our first settlers arrived in 1623. Remnants of the sunken forest can sometimes still be seen today at Odiorne Point and Jenness Beach in Rye, at very low tides or after strong storms have stripped away sand from the coast.
Location: W1, Natural History Gallery 1, hallway