Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Archeological Shards on our Bike Path

The Wetcreek Museum is open for viewing. My dear mom asked if we were charging admission. Ha, I am too lazy to even put together a sign for that. But while dusting the artifacts, I took a few quick photo shots for this blog.

The photos below are of my shard collection that I gathered more than 10 years ago in Zoeterwoude, The Netherlands. Yes, that is the same Zoeterwoude that you have seen on Heineken beer bottles and cans. Zoeterwoude is the home of Heineken brewery and an old farmhouse outside of the village was our home for almost 20 years.

Anyway, while watching the municipality construct a new bike path next to our property, we regularly walked the newly made path and found treasures. These shards of old plates, cups, and handles from jars were exposed for the taking. Although the path traverses beautiful fields of grass where Dutch cows and sheep graze, in the early stages of development I rarely enjoyed the view. After finding the first of many archeological finds, my eyes stayed glued to the dirt path. My pants pockets became too small for my collections. Shirt tails did not help much either. Then I made sure to always take along a plastic bag.

Why so much "trash" out in a field divided by small canals? Well, there are a couple of theories.

One is that where we lived (de Hel/the Hell) was at the end of the road from our village and also far away from the "big" city of Leiden, so there must have been a city dump located there back in the day. And you know what treasures can be found in garbage heaps, especially after all the real garbage rots. The only thing is that throwaway items are almost always broken. Thus the shards of pottery and porcelain.

The other theory is that long ago farmers may have thought that bits of pottery contained calcium or nutrients that would improve the soil if they were mixed into it. Sounds a little far-fetched to me.

I go for the garbage dump theory. You can tell a lot about people by looking through their trash. Remember that and recycle as much as you can. I try to.

No comments:

Post a Comment