Goedereede-Oude Oostdijk; a Roman Marketplace?
Drs. Jasper de Bruin MA (Faculty of Archaeology), drs. H.A.R. Siemons (Hazenberg Archaeology) MA & mr. M.L. Tomaello (Municipality of Goedereede)
In 1958/1959 and 1982, extensive excavations were conducted at the Roman site Goedereede-Oude Oostdijk. The remains provide a unique insight into settlement in this region, in which most of the Roman landscape was eroded by sea during the Middle Ages. So far research has shown that the inhabitants started living in a salt marsh landscape, in very wet conditions. To avoid flooding, people raised small mounds, using clay sods. On top of these small mounds wooden houses were built. During habitation, the small mounds merged by heightening the fields between them. At the end of the habitation, the settlement probably looked like one large mound with dimensions of 100 x 30 metres.
The stream, which flowed next to the site, had an elaborate bank protection. This structure probably functioned not only as protection against erosion, but also as a quay for ships. The settlement was likely of some significance for Roman trade along the Dutch coast.
During the 17th century, not far from the settlement at Goedereede, Roman foundations and finds emerged on the coast. This location is still known locally as the 'Old World'. Presumably, these are the remains of a Roman coastal fort. The relation between the site at Goedereede and this possible fort is a focus of research.
Since then two other possible military sites in the western part of the Netherlands have been included in the Odyssee program, making it possible to research and publish three major Roman sites along the coast in a coherent study. More information can be found on the weblog www.romeinsekust.nl (in Dutch).