There have been many exciting archeological finds in (roughly) my area in the last months, but I’ve simply been too busy with life to keep up with them. Luckily, I’m a member of a fantastic Facebook group, Heidenen van de Lage Landen, (litt. Heathens of the Low Lands) who post lots of interesting historical news. I’ve found the following two news items there:
October 10: “Largest offering pit of Europe lies at Walcheren“, via PZC.nl
It’s actually the largest offering pit of Europe in the late Iron Age – but still pretty neat! The pit was created around 185 BCE. Research started when the first fragments of pots were revealed in 2002. All in all 275 pots were found, together with the bones of one man and several animals. The current theory is that a ritual meal was held on this place to avert a catastrophy.
October 11: “Sacred grove and cult site from Celto-Roman periods discovered near Peer“, via ed.nl
This site was found in Belgium, not in the Netherlands as the url suggests (though these borders obviously didn’t exist in ancient times). The find dates from around 30 BCE and consists of hundreds of coins and dozens of jewelery items, horse gear and pottery. It is thought that what is now farmland was in ancient times both a sacred grove and a cult site – a rare combination that reminds researchers of sacred groves in France. Another comparison can be made with the Dutch ‘Temple of Empel’ near Dem Bosch, although that site developed into a large Roman temple site. The find near Peer dates from a period in which Romans took over Celtic culture. This specific site will probably teach us a lot about Celtic customs from that period and area.
The more we search, the more we find that a lot was happening in the Netherlands, where first we thought there was no culture at all.