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Wealth of finds from Ezinge now published in full

18 June 2014
En dan in hun geheel

The archaeological excavations carried out in Ezinge (1923-1934) by Albert von Giffen attracted international attention at the time. Van Giffen's work threw an entirely new light on settlements in the Iron Age and Roman period. However, there were so many finds that the details have never been published in full. But that is no longer the case: 25 June will see the publication of En dan in hun geheel. De vondsten uit de opgravingen in de wierde Ezinge ('And Now in their Entirety. The Finds from the Excavation of the wierde of Ezinge').

Between 1923 and 1934, a large area of the wierde (artificial dwelling hill) of Ezinge in the Reitdiep area of the province of Groningen was excavated by the Biological-Archaeological Institute (now the Groningen Institute of Archaeology, University of Groningen), led by Albert Egges van Giffen. The excavation generated a great deal of interest within the Netherlands and abroad. In Ezinge it became clear for the first time that people did not live in primitive huts during the Iron Age and Roman period. Many large farms were found, some with what were clearly animal stalls. The buildings could house large numbers of livestock.

Too extensive

The finds and new information from the excavations were so extensive that they have never been catalogued and published in full. Ezinge is one of many sites in the Netherlands that were excavated in the twentieth century but never fully documented. The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) set up the Odyssey programme in order to unlock the knowledge concealed in these old excavation data and make it available for modern-day research. Within Odyssey, the Groningen Institute of Archaeology (University of Groningen) was awarded a one-year grant for the purpose of cataloguing and publishing the Ezinge finds. This research, carried out in 2011, was led by Annet Nieuwhof of the Terpencentrum of the Groningen Institute of Archaeology.

Van Giffen's promise now fulfilled

The title of the publication, En dan in hun geheel ('And Now in Their Entirety'), alludes to article by Van Giffen in which he pledges to publish the results at a later date 'in their entirety'. Unfortunately, he never did so. In the book, the hand-built pottery and the Roman and early-mediaeval wheel-thrown pottery, the metal and stone objects, the beads, and the human and animal remains are described and interpreted in the context of settlement history.

The book is published by the Association for Terp Research. It is available from the Association, www.terpenonderzoek.nl. Full book details: A.Nieuwhof (Ed.), 2014: En dan in hun geheel. De vondsten uit de opgravingen in de wierde Ezinge ( = Annual Reports of the Association for Terp Research, 96), Association for Terp Research, Groningen. 256 pages, richly illustrated. ISBN 978-90-811714-6-5. With contributions by: Wil van Bommel-van der Sluijs, Harry Huisman, Lykke Johansen, Egge Knol, Susanne Manuel, Annet Nieuwhof, Mirjam Post, Wietske Prummel, Dick Stapert, Sophie Thasing, Tineke B. Volkers and Inger Woltinge.

The research was funded and supported by: The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the University of Groningen, the Association for Terp Research, Huis van de Groninger Cultuur, the Foundation for Anthropology and Prehistory in the Netherlands (SNMAP) and the Winsum Local Authority.

More information

Annet Nieuwhof, tel. +31 ( 0)50 363 7688, a.nieuwhof@rug.nl

Last modified:15 September 2017 3.33 p.m.
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