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Research Groningen Institute of Archaeology Research Research groups GIA

Ritual deposits in the Northern Netherlands coastal area - Iron Age until Christianization

Annet Nieuwhof

E-mail: a.nieuwhof

Promotor: Prof. Dr. D.C.M. Raemaekers and Prof. J. Bazelmans (VU)

Co-promotor: Dr. E. Taayke

Period of employment: 1 February 2004

Financed by: Promovendi & Postdoc Centre, RuG

Project description:

This research is concerned with archaeological finds and features from the so-called terps in the former Northern-Netherlands salt marsh area, that might be seen as the remains of rituals. The terp-area was colonized from the Early Iron Age in about 600 BC. While excavating the terps, ‘ritual’ finds and features are discovered quite regularly. Part of the research will be to formulate criteria that will help recognize finds with a ritual character. Using these criteria, an inventory will be made of all ritual deposits from terp excavations in the past. In order to interpret these deposits, they will have to be compared with similar deposits from the wider Northwest-European area, especially finds from neighbouring districts (Drenthe, Noord-Holland and Northern Germany) are important here.

The theoretical background for this project is based on a cultural anthropological perspective. The basic principle is that ritual, religion and the use of symbols cannot be separated from other areas in society (e.g.economy, politics). Interpreting rituals is only possible when we visualize them as part of a specific society. Changes in ritual through time may be related to changes in other areas of society, and shed light on changing society as a whole. That makes this subject part of the vast research subject on social and economic development of proto- and prehistoric societies in Northwestern Europe.

Last modified:23 July 2018 1.29 p.m.