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Embracing the salt marsh

Foraging, farming and food preparation in the Dutch-German coastal area up to AD 1600. Studies in honour of Annet Nieuwhof

Nicolay, J.A.W. & Schepers, M. (eds.)

Series: Groningen Archaeological Studies 42

ISBN-13: 9789493194496

Publication year: 2022

Publication type: Book

Pages: VIII, 180

Cover: Softcover

Format: 210 X 297 mm. Full colour ill.

Price excl. VAT: 50.00

Price incl. VAT: 54.50

From a modern-day perspective, it may seem odd that people should have chosen to dwell in the open salt-marsh landscape along the Wadden Sea coast. While the beauty of the salt marshes is widely acknowledged, the idea of living there seems to suggest struggle and misery. Yet the salt-marsh settlers, dwelling on their settlement mounds or terps, did not just ‘survive' or ‘get by', but actually managed to live a good life, by embracing this marshy world and its peculiarities.

This collection of papers focuses on foraging, farming and food preparation in the context of the salt-marsh environment. The various contributions celebrate the career and work of Annet Nieuwhof, who has been an inspirational colleague and great friend to many of us. She passionately embraced terp research, always actively stimulating cooperation across disciplines as well as national borders. Reflecting some of Annet's wide-ranging interests, the present volume is dedicated to her in friendship and gratitude.

Extra information

See here for more information about the Groningen Archaeological Studies .


Preface     VII
Johan Nicolay & Mans Schepers

1 Annet Nieuwhof: an influential archaeologist with a keen eye for the general public     1
Egge Knol
1.1 Introduction     1
1.2 Trends in archaeology     1
1.3 The relevance of public support     2
1.4 Annet as an inspired terp researcher     2
1.5 Terps: stories for the general public     6
1.6 Conclusion: a shining example     7

2 Dwelling mounds and their environment. The use of resources in the Roman Iron Age     9
Annette Siegmüller
2.1 Introduction     9
2.2 Terps and their surroundings: towards a model     10
2.3 The terp settlements     12
2.4 The direct environment of terps     13
2.5 The wider surroundings of the terps     17
2.6 Conclusion     22

3 The distribution and subdivision of farmland on the medieval and prehistoric salt marshes of the northern Netherlands. A retrogressive model of the (pre-)Frisian farm, based on historical sources from the Early Modern period      27
Gilles de Langen & J.A. (Hans) Mol
3.1 Introduction     27
3.2 The Frisian farm in the 16th century      29
3.3 Lines of social and commercial continuity in 11th- to 15th-century Friesland     33
3.4 The high-medieval farm on the embanked salt marsh     34
3.5 Biessum, Hogebeintum and Hitzum as case studies     36
3.6 Lines of social and economic continuity in 5th- to 11th-century Friesland     47
3.7 The Frisian and pre-Frisian farm on the open salt marsh: discussion     50
3.8 Conclusion     51

4 Ploughing the salt marsh. Cultivated horizons and their relation to the chronology and techniques of ploughing     57
Johan Nicolay & Hans Huisman
4.1 Introduction     57
4.2 Cultivated horizons in the salt-marsh region of Friesland and Groningen     58
4.3 For comparison: cultivated horizons and plough marks in the German salt-marsh area     65
4.4 Ard and mouldboard plough: chronology and (combined) use     67
4.5 Conclusion     72

5 Vegetation horizons: human or natural?      77
Ernst Taayke, Harm-Jan Streurman & Hans van der Plicht
5.1 Introduction     77
5.2 The dating of vegetation horizons     78
5.3 Human activity and the presence of VHs in the Groningen terp area     79
5.4 Discussion: an alternative interpretation of VHs     85
5.5 Conclusion     85

6 More than beans and barley: juicy fruits, nuts and collected wild plants from the terp region     91
Mans Schepers & Karl-Ernst Behre
6.1 Introduction     91
6.2 Methodology     92
6.3 Results     93
6.4 Discussion     100
6.5 Conclusion     101

7 The use of animals in settlements on the Dutch and German Wadden Sea coast, 600 BC-AD 1500     109
Wietske Prummel & Hans Christian Küchelmann
7.1 Introduction     109
7.2 Methods     110
7.3 Animal husbandry: variation in time and place     114
7.4 Wild animals: hunting and fishing     115
7.5 Food of animal origin at Wadden Sea coastal sites     118
7.6 Conclusion     119

8 Food remains and ‘cooking pots' from the salt marshes in the northern Netherlands     129
Tania F.M. Oudemans & Amy Kuiper
8.1 Introduction     129
8.2 Traditional ceramic studies and vessel use      130
8.3 Organic residue analysis - a new perspective on vessel use     133
8.4 Inventory of material from the terps in the northern Netherlands - two case studies     135
8.5 Discussion and suggestions for further research     137
8.6 Conclusion     138

9 Cooking up connections, dishing out diffusion. The culinary connections of ceramic griddle plates in northeast Africa     141
Steven Matthews
9.1 Introduction     141
9.2 Archaeology of bread     142
9.3 Connecting cuisines: The archaeology of griddle gastronomy     146
9.4 Sahelian cereals, elevated eragrostis and barley breads     151
9.5 Culinary connections     153
9.6 Conclusion     155

10 Cultural heritage does not stop at borders! Dutch-German research in the coastal region. Past and perspectives     161
Jan F. Kegler
10.1 The ancestors: Van Giffen, Zylmann and Haarnagel     161
10.2 Cross-border research: Houwingaham and Land of Discoveries     162
10.3 Research now and tomorrow: an unpublished terp excavation and a call for collaboration     163
10.4 Future research methods and themes     166
10.5 Towards a new research project     169
10.6 Conclusion     171

Bibliography Annet Nieuwhof     175
Wietske Prummel & Egge Knol