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After the deluge

A palaeogeographical reconstruction of Bronze Age West-Frisia (2000-800 BC)



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After the deluge by Wilko Van Zijverden
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After World War II huge land consolidation projects measuring thousands of hectares were carried out in West-Frisia. Large scale excavations of Bronze Age settlement sites were carried out resulting in a convincing model for the Bronze Age habitation of West-Frisia. This model envisaged settlement sites situated on creek ridges in an open almost treeless landscape. After a sudden change in climate c. 800 cal BC parts of the landscape were inundated, peat bogs developed and West-Frisia was abandoned by man. It was widely believed that this densely inhabited Bronze Age landscape was almost completely destroyed during the land consolidation projects. At the start of this century, however, it turned out that well preserved Bronze Age settlement sites still exist in West-Frisia. These sites were not only well-preserved but also situated at unexpected locations. The excavation results also gave reason to think of the presence of woodlands and forests during the Bronze Age. This thesis tries to unite the excavation results from the period of land consolidation and those of the later development led projects. In this thesis the palaeogegraphy is described at three scale levels. West-Frisia, the land consolidation project of Westwoud and several settlement sites. Based on an analysis of excavation results and environmental proxy data, a new model for the development of the landscape and habitation of West-Frisia during the Bronze Age emerges. For the construction of the palaeogeographical maps of Westwoud, a new approach is used, based on, amongst others, macro botanical remains. The thesis concludes with an alternative strategy for the prospection of Bronze Age sites in West-Frisia. This thesis is of interest for anyone who is professionally interested in the habitation history of West-Frisia and people who are professionally engaged with palaeogeographical and vegetation reconstructions.

Author Biography

Wilko van Zijverden was born on August the 6th 1969 in Rozendaal (the Netherlands). In 1987 he graduated from high school and he started the study physical geography at Utrecht University. In August 1993 he received his master's degree in Quaternary geology. The subject of the Master's thesis was a reconstruction of the Late Weichselian landscape of the Bommelerwaard in the central river area of the Netherlands. In 1991 he started with the study of archaeology at Leiden University. In august 1997 he received his master's degree in ecological archaeology. The subject of the master's thesis were the methods used during the archaeological field evaluation in advance of the construction of the Betuwe freight railway. After receiving his master's degree in geology he started to work as a physical geographer in the field of archaeology. After three years of successive temporary work in the Netherlands and Germany he started in 1996 as a physical geographer at the State Archaeological Service (ROB). He continued his work with ADC-ArcheoProjecten after the split-up of ROB and ADC-ArcheoProjecten in 1998. In 2007 he started, in addition to his job at ADC-ArcheoProjecten, as a part-time lecturer at Saxion University for Applied Sciences in Deventer. In 2009 he left ADC-ArcheoProjecten to join the newly founded company EARTH-Integrated Archaeology where he is still appointed. In august 2011 he was part-time posted at Leiden University for a period of five years in the project "Farmers of the Coast". This project was funded by the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). The project "Farmers of the Coast" revolves around the thesis that Bronze Age coastal communities were thriving farming communities with their own cultural identity and with a central position in communication networks. Within the framework of this project this PhD-thesis has been written. It focusses on the development of the landscape of West-Frisia between 2000 and 800 cal BC. Other publications Zijverden, W.K. van & J.J.W. de Moor, 2014: Het groot profielenboek, fysische geografie voor archeologen, Sidestone Press, Leiden. Zijverden, W.K. van, 2014: Wouden, wadden en water, het prehistorisch landschap van West-Friesland opnieuw onderzocht, Archeologie in West-Friesland, 14. Zijverden W.K. van, 2013: The palaeoenvironment of eastern West-Frisia: a critical review. In Wilroth, K.H. (ed.). Siedlungen der alteren Bronzezeit. Beitrage zur Siedlungsarchaologie und Palaookologie des II. vorchristlichen Jahrtausends in Sudskandinavien, Norddeutschland und den Niederlanden. Neumunster: Wachholtz Verlag. Roessingh, W. & W.K. van Zijverden, 2011: Begraven in het Westfriese land. In. H.S.M. van der Velde et al. (eds), Van graven in de prehistorie en dingen die voorbijgaan, Sidestone Press, Leiden, p.115-131. Dinter, M. van en W.K. van Zijverden, 2010: Settlement and land use on crevasse splay deposits; geoarchaeological research in central the Rhine-Meuse delta, the Netherlands, Netherlands Journal of Geosciences, 89-1, p. 21-34. Zijverden, W.K. van, P.F.B. Jongste & F.S. Zuidhoff, 2009: Landscape and occupation, long term developments in the Dutch river area during the Bronze Age In: Dapper, M. de & F. Vermeulen (red.), 2009: Proceedings of the Congress Ol' Man River, p. 635-645. Boer, A.G., de, W.N.H. Laan, W. Waldus and W. K. van Zijverden, 2008: LIDAR-based surface height measurements: applications in archaeology In: Frischer, B. & A. Dakouri-Hild (eds.), 2008: Beyond Illustration: 2D and 3D Digital Technologies as Tools for Discovery in Archaeology, British Archeology Report International Series, p. 93-102. Mol, J. & W.K. van Zijverden, 2007: Prehistorische woonplaatsen in de dynamische landschappen van de Rijn-Maasdelta, Het belang van landschappelijk onderzoek voor de archeologie. In: Jansen R. & L.P. Louwe Kooijmans (red.), 2007: Van contract tot wetenschap : tien jaar archeologisch onderzoek door Archol BV, p.89-101. Velde, H.S.M van der, W. Waldus & W.K. van Zijverden, 2006: De rol van het AHN in de archeologische monumentenzorg (AMZ). In: Waldus, W. en H.S.M. Van der Velde (red.), 2006: Archeologie in vogelvlucht: een onderzoek naar de toepassingsmogelijkheden van het AHN voor de archeologie, Geoarchaeological and Bioarchaeological Studies, 6. Zijverden, W.K. van & W.N.H. Laan, 2005: Landscape reconstructions and predictive modeling in archaeological research, using a LIDAR based DEM and digital boring databases, Workshop 9 Archaeologie und computer, Wien. Jongste, P.F.B. & W.K. van Zijverden, 2005: The "Late Bronze Age problem" in the Rhine-Meuse delta (The Netherlands). Changes in climate or human interference in the hinterland?, In: Richard, H. (ed.), 2005 (in press): LeTemps, 129e congres national des societes historiques et scientifiques, Besancon, 2004. Deeben, J., D.P. Hallewas, P.C. Vos & W.K. van Zijverden, 2005: Hoofdstuk 3: Paleogeografie & landschapsgenese. In: Bazelmans et al. (red.), 2005: Nationale Onderzoeksagenda Archeologie. Arnoldussen, S. & W.K. van Zijverden, 2004: Culemborg-Den Heuvel Bronze Age remains and Iron Age settlement traces next to a break-through gully in the Schoonrewoerd stream ridge, Lunula Archaeologica protohistorica, XII, 59-71.
Release date Australia
May 25th, 2017
Country of Publication
11bw & 55fc
Sidestone Press
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