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PhD Defence

After the deluge

Date
Wednesday 15 February 2017
Time
Location
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden

Bronze Age habitation of West-Frisia

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.

A new model for West-Frisia 

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.

Supervisors

  • Prof. H. Fokkens
  • Prof. C.C. Bakels

Attend

PhD defences are free; you do not have to register.

PhD dissertations

PhD dissertations by Leiden PhD students are available digitally after the defence through the Leiden Repository, that offers free access to these PhD dissertations. Please note that in some cases a dissertation may be under embargo temporarily and access to its full-text version will only be granted later.

Press contact

Inès van Arkel, Scientific Communications Adviser, Leiden University
i.van.arkel@bb.leidenuniv.nl
+31 71 527 3282

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