|6000 Year Old Skeletons Unearthed in Nieuwigein
(Nieuwegein is a municipality and city just south of the Dutch city of Utrecht)
During the construction of 'Het Klooster' Business Park in Nieuwigein during the summer of 2016, archaeological research was undertaken, mainly by drilling cores to locate potential sites of interest.
These cores showed evidence of a possible stone age site covering some 6,500 square metres, and trial trenching followed by excavation took place through November and December. This revealed a site that gave a virtually undisturbed picture of habitation during the Swifterbant Culture (5300 BCE to 3400 BCE). Sites of this period are rare, and finds here included almost 800 pieces of worked flint, chisels of animal bone, a piece of grinding stone and decorated pottery, including three fairly intact pots, complete with leftovers from meals.
Of particular note was a fine jet ornament which had been pierced with a flint tool for wearing as a pendant. Jet is not found in The Netherlands, so this piece must have been imported, most probably from England or France.
The highlight in terms of finds were three human skeletons buried in a thick layer of clay. Uniquely for The Netherlands, the bones were all well preserved because they had been surrounded by wet clay, and not sand as is more usual in this part of Europe.
In December 2016, the almost complete skeleton of a man, accompanied by leg bones and a jaw which could have been from a juvenile or a woman were unearthed. And not far away was a skull, probably belonging to the latter.
Then, in late January 2017, in another part of the site, archaeologists discovered a third Stone Age grave, which proved to be a milestone in Nieuwegein history, because it was a fully intact male skeleton dating from around 4000 BCE.
All the skeletons were excavated in blocks of the surrounding clay and taken to Stichting RAAP (Netherlands Archaeological Agency) in Leiden for detailed examination.
It is intended that the finds will eventually be put on display to the public.
You can view an 8 minute YouTube video which illustrates the discovery of these skeletons. Although the commentary is in Dutch, the images speak for themselves.
Posted by LesHamilton
20th March 2017ce
Edited 24th March 2017ce