Unlocking Noord-Holland's Late Neolithic Treasure Chest Sticky

Welcome to the "Unlocking Noord-Holland's Late Neolithic Treasure Chest" project website, here you will be able to follow the project and discover the secrets which are revealed as the project develops through its journey.

English

A Mosaic of Habitation at Zeewijk (the Netherlands)

Type: Book
Author: E.M. Theunissen, O. Brinkkemper, R.C. G. M. Lauwerier, B. I. Smit, I.M.M van der Jagt
Year of Publishing: 2014
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In 2008, Drenth et al. published a paper on Single Grave Culture settlements in the Netherlands. In their conclusions, they drew attention to the numerous sites that had not yet been fully analysed and published, pointing out that ‘these sites will generate new and important information about a fascinating era from our prehistory without anyone needing to pick up a spade’.1 Now, six years later, our project ‘Unlocking Noord-Holland’s Late Neolithic treasure chest: Single Grave Culture behavioural variability in a tidal environment’ has filled an important gap in our knowledge, with the analysis and publication of three sites: Keinsmerbrug, Mienakker and Zeewijk. These results have been achieved thanks to the Odyssey programme funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, The publication before you focuses on the Zeewijk site, excavated in three campaigns in 1992, 1993 and 1994. Only 15-20% of this very large site was uncovered, but it nevertheless yielded many finds and numerous features (postholes, cow hoofprints and ard marks, occurring over a large area of about 1 ha). Zeewijk became renowned for the discovery of a large enigmatic structure with wooden stumps that were extremely well preserved. The publication of this ceremonial structure twenty years ago made Zeewijk famous among archaeologists abroad. Unlocking Zeewijk was quite a different matter from re-examining the fairly small sites at Keinsmer brug and Mienakker. The large size and huge quantity of finds, the fact that the area was only partially excavated and the potential for sample selection within the project made for very different conditions, but the new results and interpretations make Zeewijk just as fascinating. The five years spent tackling the backlog in the analysis and publication of three important sites presented us with a serious challenge. However, this was above all a very pleasant journey, working closely together in a team with all kinds of specialists from different institutions and companies to reveal as much as possible about the Late Neolithic communities in the northwestern Netherlands. The final result of this close collaboration is an intriguing new story of Late Neolithic life at Zeewijk, which in many ways differs from Keinsmerbrug and Mienakker. This unlocked trio shows that a lot can indeed be done without picking up a spade, but there are still numerous aspects to be explored. In a way, it is a great comfort that the treasure chest still holds so much to be discovered. Thanks to all who took part in this project for their efforts and cooperation, and we hope our readers enjoy perusing this book on Zeewijk.

A Matter of Life and Death at Mienakker (the Netherlands)

Type: Book
Author: J.P. Kleijne, O. Brinkkemper, R.C. G. M. Lauwerier, B. I. Smit, E.M. Theunissen (eds)
Year of Publishing: 2013
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This scientific report is the second monograph to emerge from the Odyssey project‘Unlocking Noord-Holland’s Late Neolithic Treasure Chest: Single Grave Culture behaviouralvariability in a tidal environment’. It focuses on the analysis of the Mienakker site, excavatedin 1990. At that time, a house plan was identified in the field. The discovery of a well-preserved Late Neolithic burial also aroused a lot of excitement at the time.Like the Keinsmerbrug site, the first unlocked site, the excavated area was fairly small, but theanalysis of the Mienakker site revealed very different, intriguing results. The new results andinterpretations are presented in this volume.The analyses show that Mienakker was inhabited year-round, and that a range of very diverseactivities were performed there. It was inhabited and returned to for many years somewherebetween 2880 and 2480 cal BC. During the latest stages of occupation the settlement atMienakker turned into a more ‘ritualised’ place.This scientific report is intended for archaeologists, as well as for other professionals andamateur enthusiasts involved in archaeology.The Cultural Heritage Agency provides knowledge and advice to give the future a past.

A Kaleidoscope of Gathering at Keinsmerbrug (the Netherlands)

Type: Book
Author: B.I. Smit, O. Brinkkemper, J.P. Kleijne, R.C.G.M. Lauwerier & E.M. Theunissen (eds)
Year of Publishing: 2012
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The analysis of the Keinsmerbrug site, excavated in 1986, was the first step in our researchwithin the framework of the Odyssey project ‘Unlocking Noord-Holland’s Late Neolithic Treasure Chest: Single Grave Culture behavioural variability in a tidal environment’. The limited scale of the excavation made Keinsmerbrug an excellent choice, serving as a test case for the approach within the project Single Grave Project. In order to unlock and integrate cultural/ecological information and research data, a group of specialists worked together. Inthis volume the new results and interpretations are presented. The analyses show that Keinsmerbrug was a temporarily occupied settlement, used occasionally or perhaps even onlyseasonally within the time span of 2580-2450 cal BC. The main period of use – probablyconsisting of several episodes of short-term use – occurred from spring to autumn. The siteof Keinsmerbrug is interpreted as a non-residential settlement: a gathering settlement in thebroadest sense of the word, for the gathering of people and resources (special activity site).This scientific report is intended for archaeologists, as well as for other professionals and amateur enthusiasts involved in archaeology.The Cultural Heritage Agency provides knowledge and advice to give the future a past.

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