Ineke Noordhoff takes secretariat of Karel Essink
Ineke Noordhoff takes over the responsibilities of Karel Essink. She is from 1 january 2017 secretary from the Sunken History Foundation. Karel Essink stays in charge for the Foundation, but not as intensive as the past decade.
Ineke Noordhoff is a journalist and studied landscape history with Theo Spek. She previously worked as an economist at the newspapers Trouw and de Volkskrant but gradually turned more toward the landscape. She was among more project of the Landscape Biography of the Drentsche Aa - a publication which contributed a team of scientists. Besides appearing books of her hand at Atlas / Contact. In the 2017 edition will feature Shadow Coast, a book on the north coast of Groningen.

Left: impression of the Great auk at a breeding colony.
Right: stuffed bird at the Naturalis Museum, Leiden (NL).

Bird bones on the beach (Jan. 2017)
The Giant Auk (Pinguinus impennis), once common in the North Atlantic, became extinct in 1844. Subfossil bones were found along the Dutch coast. As yet, no founds are known from the Northern coasts (Wadden Sea islands).
More information...
In case of finding similar bones on the North Sea beaches, please send a good photograph or the bone(s) to: Bram Langeveld, conservator Natuurhistorisch Museum, Westzeedijk 345, 3015 AA Rotterdam (email: ). In Denmark, please also inform the Nationalpark Vadehavet.

Stories from the Ems-Dollard coast - a new project (July 2016)
On July 6th, a new project “Stories from the Ems-Dollard coast” was launched. The projects consists of presentations on various historic aspects of the coast and its populations. First presentations will be in September. Also excursions by ship and coach are part of the program. Stories will be disseminated on websites and in a book (2017). The project is made possible thanks to contributions from the Province of Groningen, three coastal municipalities and other sponsoring organisations. Photo shows part of the project team.

Development of coastal landscapes of the Wadden Sea (April 2016)
Two new publications are worth being mentioned. The first one describes the changes in the Wadden Sea coastal landscape of the Dutch province Friesland. This article combines data from several independent studies.
Further reading...

For the area of the Dornum Bight in NE Germany the staff at the Museum ‘Leben am Meer (in Esens) first developed a detailed altimetric map before they were able to make a reconstruction of the historic coastal landscape of this area.
Further reading...

New publications (December 2015)
Two publications appeared in the Westerheem journal on archaeology. Karel Essink and Harm Jan Streurman present datings of wood and peat from 15 m depth in the North oft he province of Groningen (NL). Egge Knol and Albert Buursma show palaeolithic arftefacts and pottery (sherds) found at the beaches of the eastern Dutch Wadden islands.
Publication of Karel Essink en Harm Jan Streurman
Publication of Egge Knol en Albert Buursma

New member of the Board
Already in the beginning of this year Drs. Yftinus T. van Popta was welcomed as a new member of the board. Yftinus was trained as a maritime archaeologist. Presently, he is a working on his PhD aiming to reconstruct the maritime cultural landscape of the Noordoostpolder area (former Zuyderzee) in the period 1100-1400 AD. His promotor will be Prof. Dr. André van Holk.

Part of wooden ship on the beached (15 Juli 2015)
On the beach of the island of Ameland a part of a wooden ship was found, measuring ca. 8 x 2 meters. All joints connecting planks and timber were made with wooden pegs.
Further reading...

Old peat in the Dollard (Oct. 4, 2014)
On October 4, a large plate of peat was found in the southern part of the Dollard (Ems estuary). In the centre of the Dollard intertidal flats three tussocks of Cordgrass were found. Are these the beginning of a new salt marsh?
Further reading (in Dutch): In de Dollard – oud veen en een nieuwe kwelder?

Old filled-in marsh gully visible (October 2014)
North of Warffum (province of Groningen) an old filled-in marsh gully became visible after clearing of the vegetation in a polder ditch. On the base of the former gully three typical Wadden Sea bivalve species were found. The marsh gully probably dates back to the second half of the 15th century.
Download (in Dutch): Opgevulde oude kweldergeul in de Noordpolder

Old tidal gully disclosed (June, 2014)
On June 20, 2014 during excavation for the enlargement of the Beatrixhaven harbour basin, a former tidal gully was disclosed. Shells of the Baltic tellin (Macoma balthica) were radiocarbon dated at around 1300 AD.
Further reading (in Dutch) Bezoek Beatrixhaven en schelpdatering

Old finds from the isle of Rottumerplaat (March 18, 2014)
On the western beach of the small isle of Rottumerplaat two old objects were found: a potsherd from the first century AD and a fossile skeleton part of a prehistoric fish.
The early-Roman potsherd is from the rim of a earthen cooking pot or container. It is the oldest artefact found at the easternmost Dutch Wadden Sea islands Simonszand-Rottumerplaat-Rottumeroog. The fish bone is a so-called cleitrum, belonging to a relative of the present Haddock that live during the Pleistocene period.
Downloads (in Dutch):
1. Scherven op het strand van Rottumeroog en -plaat
2. Verslag verkennend onderzoek 18-03-2014

Man made changes in the River Ems between Papenburg and Leer since 1892.
Since long rivers were major routes of transport. The extent of transport increased significantly during the industrial era. Also, periodic high water levels formed a threat to people living nearby. These two factors caused drastic changes to be realized in the riverine landscape. An example of this is presented for the River Ems between Papenburg and Leer (Germany).
Further reading...

Ships’ wreck south of Ameland (December 15, 2013)
Wadden Sea guide Lammert Kwant found the remains of a steel ship in the tidal flats near Ameland. Most probably, this concerns the shipwreck of a Danish sloop “Agathe“, in 1948. More on this mysterious event can be found in the paper ‘Leeuwarder Courant’.
See also:
1. Persbureau Ameland
2. Wadgidsenweb 2.0

Fieldtrip to Simonszand (Sept. 21, 2013)
Earlier this year we thought that we had found clayey deposits at two sites south of the small island of Simonszand that might be a remainder of an old salt marsh. In September the sites were revisited, and re-investigated. The result was that we only found sediment layering that would result from normal sedimentation processes in the Wadden Sea, with clay depositing during calm, and sand depositing during more turbulent conditions. Further reading (reports in Dutch):
1.Oude kwelderafzettingen in het wad onder Simonszand
2.Verslag sedimentologie Simonszand sept. 2013

Jordsand – a lost island
The white sand banks between the northern tip of the island of Sylt and the Danish mainland indicate the position of the former island Jordsand. John Frederiksen (Ribe) wrote a concise history of this island that in 1644 witnessed a sea battle between the Danish and a combined Swedisch-Dutch fleet.
Further reading...

Stormflood 1509 – History of the Dollard (Sept. 2, 2013)
This month a book will appear on the history and inhabitants of the Dollard area , a NE borderregion of The Netherlands and Germany. The book is in Dutch and contains 13 chapters. It can be bought for 21,00 Euro.
More information...

Flint from flintlock at Ameland (Aug., 23, 2013)
A flint from a flintlock mechanisms of a rifle/pistol/musket was found by Jo Soolsma (Wageningen) on he beach of Ameland. Flintlock firearms were widely used in the 18th century. From Ameland several finds of these flints have been reported.


Historic finds evaluations at Vlieland (March 1, 2013) and Spiekeroog (March 8, 2013)
This year historic find evaluations were held at the Wadden Sea islands of Vlieland (The Netherlands) and Spiekeroog (Germany).

The evaluation at Vlieland was held in the visitor center “De Noordwester”. School children and islanders showed their finds to a group of experts from the Frisian Museum (Leeuwarden), Groningen Museum and the Sunken History Foundation. Special find was a 14.000 year old flint (foto) washed ashore on the North Sea beach.

14.000 year old flint

The evaluation at Spiekeroog was held in the “Kogge”, Haus des Gastes. A presentation was given on a new NIhK-project on habitation and cultural history of the Wadden Sea area of Lower Saxony. Also an overview was given of archeological finds from the Wadden Sea tidal flats. Experts were present from the Institute for historic coastal research (NIhK, Wilhemshaven) and the Archaeological Service of Osfriesische Landschaft (Aurich) as well as some Dutch experts. Among the finds presented were skeletal bones from cattle, fossil marine shells, 16th century pot sherds and glass bottles in many form and age. All finds were photographed and registered by the experts of Osfriesische Landschaft.

revised at 01-28-2014