And now it's time for some "Nothing is what it seems" news!
More info: http://pepijnvandennieuwendijk.com/pepijnvandennieuwendijk.com/tussen-kunst-en-geschiedenis-•-between-art-and-history/
Digging into the history of Coevorden
Archaeologists find extremely special sculptures from the seventeenth century
Anyone who digs in the soil of an old city like Coevorden can make special finds. During excavations in the Kerkstraat archaeologists found walls and remains of cellars from the 17th century. In an old waste well and between other archaeological remains, archaeologists found two extremely intriguing sculptures.
"It is to be expected that you will make special discoveries if you are going to dig in the center of a historic city like Coevorden," says Pepijn van den Nieuwendijk, excavator, at the project in the center of Coevorden. While digging, a stone's throw from the Reformed Church, the archaeologists first found the floor of an old porch. "That seems to consist of two parts. We found a tiled floor in the highest part of the house, "says Van den Nieuwendijk.
Van den Nieuwendijk and his team think that the front house dates from the sixteenth century. "We could trace that from the remains of a cesspool." He points to a semi-circle of slightly darker earth.
"It is always nice to find something from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, since Coevorden experienced turbulent times at that time with wars against the Spaniards in the sixteenth century and Bommen Berend in the seventeenth century." "It teaches us more about how life was like in such a time. "
A reference to the war history are the traces of warfare. Finds of musket bullets from the seventeenth century at this excavation are silent witnesses of the war history of Coevorden.
Archaeologists found several cellars in the backyard. Although they are less old the cellar walls are more interesting. "It is still guessing, but we think the front cellar dates back to the late sixteenth century, possibly from the time after the Spanish occupation when damaged houses had to be rebuilt." "The rear part of the basement seems to have been added later, possibly in the early eighteenth century, assuming the brick size and the dating of shards of pottery that we found there. "
CERAMIC CARICATURES FROM THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
Behind the cellar walls were cesspits and waste pits found by the archaeologists. Possibly this was a fenced back yard of the houses on the Kerkstraat. Remains of a wooden division were also found.
In a cesspool and a waste pit, the archaeologists found two complete ceramic sculptures of exceptional quality. The statues with a green glaze probably date from the late seventeenth century, and are of great historical and artistic value through their expressive appearance and comic character. "Why these two sculptures are found in almost intact condition is really a mystery," says Van den Nieuwendijk. "They look like caricatures, meant to be scoffed." One of the sculptures looks like a standing soldier with a Spanish-looking helmet and a duck's head (maybe a goose's head?). The other sculpture looks like a soldier on a toy horse, where the toy horse once again has the head of a duck or goose.
"These are artistic seventeenth-century ceramic sculptures as we have never seen before, they provide us with a lot of questions, such as where were they made, and why and how did they get here and why." On the statue there is a year of 1592 , but the archaeologists suspect that it is not the date of production but that it refers to the year 1592 as a historical reference to the expel of the Spaniards in that year. "We know that it dates back to the late seventeenth century because of the glaze used and the context of other finds such as ceramic shards." "Such a historical object is of exceptional importance for the history of Coevorden and also for the history of the country".
The archaeologists hope to find more clues during the course of the excavations that can provide clarity for the mystery of the two sculptures.
The found cellars will be excavated even further, whereby archaeologists in deeper layers can make older finds that can shed more light on the late Middle Ages of Coevorden.
"We first make a kind of map of the spaces we excavate and we document everything," says Van den Nieuwendijk. "Then we can dig deeper again."
The entire plot has not yet been excavated. So there can still be anything underneath.
The archaeologists are curious about what else can be found under the Coevorden soil.
A few weeks remain for Van den Nieuwendijk and his team for the research. Then a new shop building with houses is built.