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Dorestad suffered from Viking invasions and climate change

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

LEIDEN The role of the Netherlands in foreign trade goes a long way back, if an exhibit on the pre-medieval town of Dorestad is any indication. Numerous artifacts, unearthed during excavations and other archeological work during the 1900s, were on display at the National Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden) at Leiden throughout much of this year. Based on discoveries of these artifacts, archeologists have concluded that Dorestad served as an important trading port in the seventh through the ninth century, a hub for the then known world. Coins struck at the Dorestad mint have been found throughout Europe, for example. Repeated invasions by the Vikings are thought to have led to its demise, but now another reason has surfaced: climate change. Archeologists suggest that the town lost its appeal as well with the rise of water levels.