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Swifterbant discovers undisturbed 6,000 year-old farming site

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

DEVENTER – SWIFTERBANT – Archeological finds of recent decades should prompt revision of Dutch history books and local histories. Several recent discoveries highlight this need. Archeologists in Deventer, a former Hanseatic League city, last month unearthed the foundation of a medieval tower which was once part of the city’s internal defense ring. The tower was likely built in the early 1300s. Days earlier, they discovered at the edge of the Grote Kerkhof, the medieval cemetery near the church, five intact skeletons thought to be 500 years old. A far more significant find, however, was made to the west, at Swifterbant, Flevoland. Archeologists revisited a site marked decades ago as potentially promising. They were not disappointed. The site, which was drained 50 years ago, bared remarkably well-preserved evidence of crop farming, thought to be 6,000 years old. The soil, long covered by metres of water, had hardly been disturbed and lay just a metre below the surface. The find rates as one of the oldest of its kind in the Netherlands and Northwestern Europe.