When the Shore becomes the Sea: New maritime archaeological insights on the dynamic development of the northeastern Zuyder Zee region (AD 1100 – 1400), the Netherlands

Barkhuis, 31 dec. 2020 - 160 pagina's

For centuries, the Dutch landscape and her inhabitants have been connected to the water, sometimes lovingly, sometimes full of fear and often with awe. This is also reflected in the theme of this doctoral research: late medieval storm surges of the Zuiderzee on the one hand caused the loss of land and settlements in the heart of the Netherlands, while on the other hand these floods created new maritime trade routes that would eventually bring great wealth.

The current research focuses more specifically on reconstructing (the development of) the landscape and habitation in the northeastern part of the Zuiderzee (the current Noordoostpolder) between approximately 1100 and 1400 AD. For the realization of the reconstruction, archaeological, geological, (landscape) historical and historical-geographic datasets were used, combined and compared in a mainly digital spatial environment.

The research shows that in less than 500 years the research area transformed from unexplored and uninhabited peat areas with lakes into open sea, removing virtually all remnants of land reclamation, cultivation and habitation. These landscape developments were based on both natural and cultural factors: the storms are a natural factor, whereas the resulting floods were the result of human intervention in the landscape (reclamation and cultivation of land caused compaction and dehydration of the peat). The late medieval archaeological remains (mainly pottery, bricks, animal bone material) in the Noordoostpolder region are in fact the last remnants of this highly dynamic region in which farmers, merchants, lords and eventually also fishermen learned to live and deal with water.


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The dichotomous relation between the Dutch and the sea
Northeastern Zuyder Zee The Netherlands Introduction
Maritime Culture in the Netherlands
Wadden Sea left from the IJssel Lake former Zuyder Zee Figure 3 3 South facing aerial photograph of the Noordoostpolder region Figure 3 4 Simpli...
The iconic lighthouse is clearly visible on both photographs Figure 3 8 Spatial representation of the three relevant transport zones Figure 3 9 Detailed...
an impression of the Zuyder Zee during the Battle on the Zuyder Zee
No country for men
The circle marks the study area Noordoostpolder region Figure 4 4 Reconstruction of the northeastern Zuyder Zee region in medieval times
through a historical ditch in the Kuinre Forest area 5 in Fig 4 6 Figure 4 10 Profile drawing of one of the test trenches from the Kuinre Forest 70
11 Overview of the ditchnetwork field boundary system blue lines
Where are the shipwrecks of the Zuyder Zee? Introduction
4 Examples of largescale deviations due to the use of lotcentre coordinates
Lords merchants and farmers
the 20thcentury reclaimed parts of the Zuyder Zee Figure 6 2 Distribution map of shipwrecks and late medieval objects within the borders
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