Category Archives: NETHERLANDS

Traces of Historic Fort Found in the Netherlands

Traces of Historic Fort Found in the Netherlands

NL Times reports that traces of a Spanish fort built in the sixteenth century during the Eighty Years’ War have been uncovered in Leiden. 

The location of a Spanish fort used in the 1573-1574 Siege of Leiden during the Eighty Years’ War.

The remain of a Spanish fort established during the Eighty Years’ War was uncovered by archaeologists in Leiden.

The Lammenschans fort is part of a well known local legend that when Spanish troops fled at the end of the Siege of Leiden they left behind a pot still filled with a stew that may have been the origin for hutspot, a Dutch dish now made from boiled and mashed potatoes, carrots and onions.

Legend has it that Dutch orphan Cornelis Joppenszoon found the stew, then made with parsnips and carrots, and the abandoned fort on 3 October 1574.

Some 446 years later, pieces of pewter forks or spoons, drinking cups, pottery, fishing line and a bead were found at the site, along with portions of the moat dugout to protect the location.

Joppenszoon grabbed the stew and hiked a kilometre north to the Leiden city walls. The Watergeuzen, a collection of beggars and pirates who helped fight off the Spanish, arrived in the city with white bread and herring.

A tradition was born, and the city has celebrated its liberation under the banner “Leiden is no longer in trouble” ever since, where hutspot, white bread and herring are served annually on 3 October.

“De Lammenschans is found. Just in the month that we celebrate that ‘Leiden is no longer in trouble’, our archaeologists find the remains of what sometimes seemed like a legend,” said Willy de Zoete, the Deputy for Culture and Heritage for the Province of Zuid-Holland.

“Our Zuid-Holland land represents a special remnant of our connection to our history.”

The exact location of the site was completely unknown with few attempts made to find it until 2017 when a crowdfunding campaign was launched. This was tied in with the RijnlandRoute infrastructure project, which made it possible to excavate at and below the Europaweg.

The items found at the site were dated to the 16th and 17th centuries, according to a statement from the province. Several other bags of soil were also collected at the location and will be analyzed in the coming months.

Traces of Historic Fort Found in the Netherlands
Archaeologist Ivar Schute with a discovery at the Lammenschans, a 16th-century Spanish fort Used during the Siege of Leiden and re-discovered in October 2020

17th-century Dutch merchant ship off southern England have recovered a 30-foot-long wooden carving of a mustachioed warrior

17th-century Dutch merchant ship off southern England have recovered a 30-foot-long wooden carving of a mustachioed warrior

Archeologists greeted a carving of the face of a moustachio warrior as they lifted part of a huge shipwreck in the 17th century in the English Channel The head was carved into the 28 ft long section of the rudder of a Dutch trading ship that sunk nearly 400 years earlier in Poole, Dorset.

Its accidental discovery by a dredger led to six years of underwater investigations, which prompted experts to hail the find as the most significant since the Mary Rose. Divers found the sizable carving covering the stern and bow castle of the 130ft-long merchant vessel, which would have been one of the largest of its kind on the seas at the time.

It was decked out with opulent carvings of mermen whose eye sockets would have been decorated with precious stones. Other baroque-style carvings, similar to the one on the rudder, were also found on parts of the ship including the gunports.

The head was carved into the 28ft long rudder section of a Dutch trading ship that sunk off Poole, Dorset, nearly 400 years ago

Marine archaeologists from Bournemouth University have already recovered scores of artifacts from the vessel that is known as the Swash Channel Wreck after the area of sea where it sunk.

And after being given a grant of £500,000 from English Heritage, the team completed the recovery of the five-tonne wooden rudder that had become separated from the main hull.

Divers spent seven days digging the rudder from out of the sea bed and placing a large steel frame around it, similar to the operation that raised the Mary Rose in 1982.

Marine archaeologists from Bournemouth University have already recovered scores of artefacts from the vessel that is known as the Swash Channel Wreck after the area of sea where it sunk. The black squares indicate the gunport locations

It was then towed four miles into Poole Harbour where today it was hoisted onto the quayside by a crane in front of the excited team of archaeologists.

The baroque facial carving at the end of the rudder shows a military man wearing a classical helmet. It will be constantly sprayed with special chemicals for the next two years to help conserve it.

The rudder will then put on display at Poole Museum alongside other artifacts recovered from the wreckage. Dave Parham, a senior lecturer in marine archaeology at Bournemouth University, said: ‘Before now we had just seen the rudder underwater where you could only make out a few feet of it at a time.

The rudder is being temporarily stored at Poole docks, before being transported to York. It was towed four miles into Poole Harbour where today it was hoisted onto the quayside (pictured) by a crane in front of the excited team of archaeologists

‘So to see it in daylight in all its glory is really quite spectacular.

‘It is a very large and impressive item itself so you can imagine how spectacular this merchant vessel would have looked.

‘Its discovery is an extremely significant one and has given way to one of the largest shipwreck investigations within the UK.’

Another carving previously discovered at the wreck of the Dutch trading ship near Poole, Dorset

Unlike the Mary Rose, little is known of the Swash Channel Wreck, including its identity. Tests on the oak wood from it have dated the felling of the timber to 1628 and from forests on the Dutch/German border. Analysis of some of the recovered artifacts dates to the middle of the 17th century.

This has led the experts to believe the vessel was an armed Dutch trading ship that was either going to or returning from the Mediterranean or the Far East. It is thought it hit a sandbank in the approaches to Poole Harbour and water flooded its bilges. The ship is then believed to have rolled over and sunk in 22ft of water.

Mr. Parham said: ‘It would have been a very big vessel for its day and the whole vessel would have been a spectacular work of art.

It was a sign of prestige and wealth. It was making a statement, showing how great and wonderful the owners were. They would have been a large Dutch conglomerate, similar to the East India Company.

‘It would not have been a million miles from a 17th-century version of the Titanic, although the Titanic was ornate for the passengers and not for those on the outside.

‘We think it was a Dutch trading ship and would have taken high-quality European goods like tweed to the Far East and traded them for things like exotic spices.

It was either going out or coming back when it sank outside of Poole Harbour. We have received a grant to fund the recovery of all the material that is at risk of erosion.

So far the team has brought up artifacts including five baroque carvings, ceramic pieces, leather shoes, copper and pewter plates and cups, and a bronze compass divider. They have also recovered animal bones of sheep and cows that would have fed the crew.

Mr. Parham said: ‘Last month we spent seven days excavating beneath the rudder in order to put strops around it and lift it into a steel frame.

It was then moved four miles to the quayside in Poole and lifted out of the water. We have no idea who the male carving on the rudder might be. It is a mustachioed man with a classical helmet on so it is depicting a military man of some sort. About 40 percent of the port side of the wreck lies intact on the sea bed but it will be too costly an operation to recover that.

Archaeology world: Archaeologists unearth Roman road in the Netherlands

Archaeologists unearth Roman road in the Netherlands

Archaeologists unearth Roman road in the Netherlands
The dig is metres away from a main road

Archeologists in the Netherlands have discovered a 2,000-year-old stretch of Roman road and the remains of a Roman village in the town of Katwijk, which once marked the northern boundary of the Roman Empire.

The road is 125 meters (410 ft) long and lies close to a busy highway in the Valkenburg suburb. The Roman village comes complete with a canal and burial ground, the Omroep West regional broadcaster reports.

Province of South Holland asked archeologists to examine the entire area where the new RijnlandRoute bypass is to run, aware of the local Roman legacy and anxious to preserve any finds.

At the mouth of the Old Rhine River, which still flows through Katwijk, Emperor Claudius built the city of Lugdunum Batavorum, and ships would sail to Britain from there.

But no one expected to find such well-preserved remains in Katwijk itself.

‘ Great surprise’

“The extent to which the Roman road is complete is a great surprise”, the province says on its official website.

Even the tall oak piles that stood alongside the road to stop it from subsiding are in remarkably good condition. Archaeologists reckon the road was built in about the year 125 CE, during the reign of Emperor Hadrian.

Roman building material with paint and plaster intact
Roman building material with paint and plaster intact

The dig also uncovered pottery, leather footwear, coins, a fish trap and other household objects, but the rarest find is a piece of building material with fragments of plaster and paint still intact after two millennia.

The excavation will take another few weeks, and the archaeologists should complete their study of the site by end of the year. The public will be allowed to visit the dig on 13 October – Archaeology Day in the Netherlands.

World Heritage

Work on the new road is due to start in the second half of 2019 but will not disturb the site, the provincial authorities promise. The most important finds from the dig will go on display at the RijnlandRoute’s information centre, and this may not be the end of the story.

The excavations are part of the Lower German Limes – the old northern border of the Roman Empire – which the Netherlands has nominated for special UN international status, the Rheinische Post reported earlier in the year.

If the application is successful, the old boundary that runs from Bad Breisig in Germany to Katwijk – including the Roman road – will become a World Heritage Site.

The UN’s World Heritage Committee is to consider the bid in 2021.

Chief archaeologist Jeroen Loopik with an oak pile that stopped the road from subsiding