The archaeology of the early modern period and the Eighty Years’ War in the Zwin-Scheldt estuary (Belgium, the Netherlands)
Author(s): Maxime Poulain
The Zwin-Scheldt estuary witnessed a turbulent history, with constantly changing occupations, landscape transformations and a complex urban-rural interaction following the outbreak of the Eighty Years’ War in 1567. However, three centuries of almost continuous warfare are hardly reflected in Flemish archaeological fieldwork. This presentation tries to uncover the underlying causes of this observation and illustrates the potential of research on military sites and material culture by the case of Middelburg-in-Flanders. Founded in 1448, the thriving start that characterized this city soon came to an end. With the outbreak of religious troubles in the second half of the 16th century, the city was located in the frontline of the Spanish-Dutch war and transformed into a military stronghold. Four garderobe chutes from the upper and lower court of the castle have already been studied. The analysis of these assemblages raises some questions on consumption outside normal market patterns and political control and reveals the multi-layered way in which material culture contributes to cultural and social identity.
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The archaeology of the early modern period and the Eighty Years’ War in the Zwin-Scheldt estuary (Belgium, the Netherlands). Maxime Poulain. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437128)
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