The Roman sanctuaries at Colijnsplaat and Domburg (2015-2017)

The Roman sanctuaries at Colijnsplaat and Domburg: an archaeo-geological reappraisal

The now submerged Roman sanctuaries of Colijnsplaat and Domburg on the isle of Walcheren have yielded the most extensive collection of votive stones found in Northern Gaul. They bear testimony of the central role the isle of Walcheren played as a hub for the international trade between the Rhineland, Britain, Northern and Southern Gaul. Sailors, merchants, ship-woners dedicated votive stones and statues to the local goddess Nehalennia, next to other deities. So far however, only the epigraphic evidence has been thoroughly studied and used to assess the economical role and the chronology of both sites.

With this project however, we aim at assessing the scientific potential of the site by using more classic archaeological and geological methods. First the geological origin of the stones used is assessed. All stones recovered during fishing and diving operations are studied for geological fingerprinting and hence to assess to geological and geographical context. This will shed new light on the ways stone was acquired in this stone-less landscape. It will also cast new light on trade-routes and -mechanisms. Second, other finds retrieved from the sunken site such as ceramics, roof-tiles, metal will also be studied. The aim is to re-assess the dating of the site and to gain new knowledge on the function(s) and economic connections.


Prof. dr. Wim De Clercq