Based on a combination of historical, archaeological and geochemical data, the Allard Pierson Museum of the VU University Amsterdam has announced that they have uncovered evidence that Julius Caesar actually fought a battle on Dutch soil. Confirmed by skeletal remains, swords and spearheads that were found in Kessel, Noord-Brabant, Caesar and his men wiped out two entire local tribes, which was normal back then and wrote about it in Book IV of his De Bello Gallico. According to archaeologists, Caesar fought the battle in 55 A.D.
Around 47 A.D, the border of the Roman Empire ran through the Netherlands where Germanic and Celtic tribes lived. Several Dutch villages and cities along the Rhine descend from the Roman time, revealed by regular archeological excavations. The most important Roman settlement was Noviomagus, or as it is know today, Nijmegen. The Valkhof shown here is one of the many Roman ruins still standing there.
(Links: european-heritage.org, phys.org, Photo of the Moon over the Valkhof by Eelco, some rights reserved)
Tags: archaeology, Romans, VU University Amsterdam
From 14 April to 18 May, the city of Nijmegen, Gelderland, the oldest city in the country and synonymous with Roman ruins, is inviting its citizens to come and dig up some finds with archaeologists. You’ll need a ticket to join in the merriment, 10 euro for 2 hours of excavation. All kinds of related events (in Dutch) for children and adults alike are also being organised.
The excavation is to take place on a site belonging to the Honig food corporation, where remains of a 2000 year-old temple have been found. Archaeologist Kees Brok says people have expressed interest in joining in, so that’s why they’ve turned it into a fun group activity.
I doubt anyone can keep what they find though, but it’s a good way to get the job done fast and learn something.
(Link: www.nieuws.nl, Photo: BOOR, Rotterdam)
Tags: archaeology, excavation, Gelderland, Nijmegen, Romans
Archaeologists are claiming to have found the city of Rotterdam’s oldest city seal from 1351 on the site where the country’s biggest covered market is being built. The seal is made of beeswax and was discovered in a copper box. On the seal can be read “clavis sigilli de rotterdam”, or ‘key seal of Rotterdam’, and was used to seal the back of documents.
The seal is said to depict the Rotte river, while the vertical bar is a dam. However, in this modern day and age the ‘international sign of friendship’ (aka ‘the bird’ or ‘three-finger salute’) does come to mind more quickly than a river and a dam.
Back in 2011 we told you about the oldest graves of the Netherlands discovered in Rotterdam.
(Link: www.ad.nl, Photo: BOOR)
Tags: archaeology, Rotterdam
BOOR wrote earlier this month:
During a dig in 2008 in the Rotterdam neighbourhood Beverwaard three pits with cremated human remains have been found. Carbon dating has revealed the remains to be 9,000 years old. That makes these the oldest graves in the Netherlands.
BOOR archaeologists studied the top of a river dune where a tram garage was to be built. The graves, dating from the middle stone age (8000 – 3500 BC), also contained burial gifts such as flint tools, a hammer and a wetting stone.
BOOR is the municipal bureau for archaeology of Rotterdam.
(Photo: BOOR. Link: Telegraaf)
Tags: archaeology, cremation, graves, stone age, tools
Last month, three coin treasures were found in Groningen during archaeological digs. Don’t get all excited though, as a coin treasure is defined as anything over five coins, or as Blackadder character Baldrick would have it, some coins. The biggest find was a collection of half-stuivers, stuivers and double stuivers (a stuiver is the Dutch equivalent of a shilling or a nickel) in a jar, estimated to be worth three monthly salaries at the time they were minted, reports Blik op Nieuws (Dutch).
So who gets the loot? After a find of celtic silver and gold coins near Maastricht two years ago, archaeologist Wim Dijkman of the city of Maastricht told Z24 (Dutch): “According to the law, half of the estimated value goes to the owner of the land, the other half to the finder. Since this find has become an official one, the finder is the city of Maastricht.” That find was estimated to be worth several hundred thousand euro, and since Maastricht wanted to keep the coins for its own collection, it had to pay the land-owners from its own purse.
(By the way, the coins in the picture were found in my own wallet and are not an official treasure.)
Tags: archaeology, coins, finds, Groningen, Maastricht, money, treasures