Excavations in Ostend reveal remains of medieval dwellings

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of three medieval dwellings during excavations in the Atlantikwall Raversyde provincial domain in Ostend. Traces of ditches, a watering place for animals and several animal burial sites were also found. The most important finds will be exhibited.

The excavations are part of work being carried out at ANNO 1465, an open-air museum that recreates a 15th-century medieval fishing village.

The finds offer additional insight into the structure of the village of Raversyde near Ostend. The archaeologists dug up reinforcements for fishermen's nets, coins and pottery from the 15th and 16th centuries. In addition, bomb pits from the First or Second World War were discovered.

According to experts, this is one of the best preserved archaeological sites in Flanders. It houses the remains of the Walraversijde fishing settlement, which has completely disappeared over the centuries but is exceptionally well preserved archaeologically. The site experienced its peak in the 15th century, but then suffered a slow decline due to economic problems and wars.

Thanks to the excavations, archaeologists are learning more about the inhabitants of the village in the Middle Ages. “We also found waste pits that contained food remains, like crustaceans and shellfish, and broken ceramics as well,” said archaeologist Floris Beke. “Such finds are particularly interesting because they can tell us how old something is."

Ditches were also found at the site. "These are remains of agricultural land that people later moved onto. We can also see that when the village was no longer inhabited, those ditches were used to redivide the agricultural land."

The excavations are due to be completed on Tuesday, before the site is sealed off to continue the renovation. The finds will be investigated further and the most relevant items will be exhibited in ANNO 1465 after it is renovated.


#FlandersNewsService | Replica of medieval houses in the former fishing village of Walraversijde © PHOTO IMAGEBROKER

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