The Markermeerdijken Alliance is preparing the fortification of more than 33 kilometers of dikes around the Markermeer (lake) between Hoorn and Durgerdam in The Netherlands. As part of the fortification process environmental factors such as cultural heritage are taken into account. Markermeerdijken Alliance has asked EARTH Integrated Archaeology BV to carry out innovative geo-archaeological research for this project.
Off the coast of Oosthuizen, where the village of Etersheim is believed to have been located, a sarcophagus has been found. Etersheim is assumed to have been flooded by water but it is unclear whether there are still some remains that are submerged. EARTH is reconstructing the flooded landscape and investigating if the old soil and the remains of Etersheim are still intact.
EARTH is doing this by creating/carrying out what is called a ‘geo-archaeological assessment’. This means EARTH places a row of boreholes in the sediment beneath the water in collaboration with Daemen Milieutechniek. The drill cores are then described by a physical geographer and a biologist/limnologist.
The drill cores are taken to EARTH’s laboratory to be examined through various microscopical and natural science analyses such as: microflora; microfauna; oxygen isotopics and microbottom emmorphology. The research will take several months but as soon as all the results are in there will be a clear understanding of whether the village Etersheim is preserved or not.