In 2015 there were 1,435 national archaeological sites in the Netherlands. They consisted of 3,982 complexes. The themes ‘burial’ (1,993) and ‘dwellings’ (1,328) were the most common among them.
The bar chart shows the number of archaeological complexes in the Netherlands by type in 2015. The maps show the number of complexes in each province and in each province per type.
From 2015 on the archaeological complexes and terrains were not registered anymore. The count of complexes and terrains is therefore 'frozen' at the end of 2015. So, eventhough since 2015 the count of archaeological monuments has gone up, that of the of complexes and terrains has not. Therefore in this indicator is shown the count of 2015.
Various complex types have been defined to to indicate the intrinsic nature of a monument. A monument may consist of several complexes. Examples include churches, barrows, settlements, Roman villas etc. To make things clear, these have been further subdivided into themes: dwellings, burial, religion, economy, defence and ‘miscellaneous’.
Most complexes in the category ‘burial’
There is a strong emphasis on ‘burial’ among the complexes listed, this theme accounting for 1993 of the total of 3,982 complexes. This category mainly includes visible barrows found in the higher-lying parts of the Netherlands, the majority of them in Gelderland (884) and Drenthe (416) provinces. It also includes the dolmens (hunebedden) in Drenthe. There are 56 dolmens and 1,740 protected barrows in the Netherlands.
‘Dwellings’ category also strongly represented
1,328 of the 3,982 complexes are in the ‘dwellings’ category.The relatively large number of complexes in this category in Groningen (371) and Friesland (230) provinces is connected with the presence in the landscape of visible terpen and wierden (raised settlements). The Netherlands has a total of 465 protected terpen. Some of the protected dwelling locations are not visible at the surface, particularly in the sandy areas in the northern, eastern and southern Netherlands.
Complex types associated with defence, such as castles, are most common in Zeeland (64) and Utrecht (81) provinces. In Zeeland they also include vliedbergen (artificial rises). Fortified houses are most common in Groningen (borgen) and Friesland (stinsen).
Economic activities and religion
Complex types associated with economic activity are generally related to agriculture, and also to flint mining, as in Limburg (e.g. the flint mine at Rijckholt St. Geertruid), and iron extraction, in Gelderland for example. Traces of ships and roads (Roman or otherwise) as found in Utrecht, Flevoland and Noord-Holland provinces also belong in this category.
‘Religion’ refers largely to the remains of churches and monasteries, which have protected status mainly in Groningen, Friesland, Noord Brabant, Zeeland and Utrecht.
Register of Monuments and Historic Buildings, Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE)
31 December 2015
Monitoring frequency: not anymore
The primary information on archaeological monuments is based on data from the Register of Monuments and Historic Buildings and the annotated description.
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