Archaeologists have found 3,000-year-old remains near Amsterdam, reversing experts opinions that no one could have lived in the area during the Bronze Age because it was too water-logged.
Around 1,000 BC, water-logged land was a major problem for human settlements in this region in the north of the Netherlands. However, even at this early date, people were taking measures to deal with the water. Dark traces in the sand around each of the five housing plots that have been discovered show they were surrounded by drainage ditches. These channelled the water away from the buildings, making them habitable.
“It was thought that this area was uninhabited but, in fact, it was a kind of urban centre in the north,” says Wouter Roessingh, who is leading the archaeological dig. The local population were cattle and grain farmers and were also involved in fishing. The archaeologists have discovered water holes and a burial mound as well as the settlement remains.