'Leven Langs de Limes-Zwammerdam' exhibition opens

Regional Minister Rik Janssen and alderman Kees van Velzen of the municipality of Alphen aan den Rijn opened the exhibition 'Leven Langs de Limes-Zwammerdam' on 6 July 2016. The exhibition is the fourth and last in a series on the Zuid-Hollandse Limes.

A Roman dugout canoe, one of the world-famous ‘Zwammerdam ships’, has returned to Zuid-Holland after a long absence. Another exhibit is two halves of a Roman duiker that were unearthed in Bernisse in 2009 and a Roman milestone, found in 2005 in Rijswijk. These spectacular items can now be seen together for the first time at the exhibition in the Archeologiehuis.

Alongside the Roman finds the exhibition gives an insight into research being conducted into the 'Zwammerdam castellum' and the Zwammerdam ships. Both of these are archaeological finds that were of great interest for both national and international research into the Roman Limes (frontiers). The canoe was found under the visitor centre at Nigrum Pullum.

Wider reach

Zuid-Holland Province is keen to pass on its heritage to future generations, as it adds to the beauty of the environment, underscores an original identity and offers opportunities for economic spinoff. This calls for existing heritage sites to be made visible and accessible so the general public, fans, tourists and anyone else interested can enjoy them. Alongside exhibitions, another way to generate interest in the country's heritage is to publish archaeological data. Most people associate the word data with tables, diagrams and maps. But a lot more information can be shared as data: films and photographs, for instance.

A relatively new application is 3D photography, where information technology and the internet invade the traditional world of archaeology. The items in the Zuid-Holland archaeological depot have been systematically registered for some years, and some of these data are available to the public. 3D images offer a wealth of new opportunities, to scientists at home and abroad, for instance. Researchers abroad have access to highly accurate 3D models for remote study. They can use these to help judge whether they need to study the object in person at first hand. At the exhibition opening ceremony a 3D image of a metal ladies' purse was projected on screen. That way items not normally on view to the public are nonetheless on visual display, and in this case that means a find that is physically located in Zwammerdam can be examined from every angle in Alphen aan den Rijn.

Financial support

The exhibition runs until the end of 2016 and was made possible through financial support from the Zuid-Holland Limes heritage line and organised by a partnership formed by Stichting Museumpark Archeon, AWN Rijnsstreek department and Erfgoedhuis Zuid-Holland.