Journal of Archaeology in the Low Countries 2-1 (May 2010)W.A. van Es; W.J.H. Verwers: Early Medieval settlements along the Rhine: precursors and contemporaries of Dorestad


1. ‘Batavian’ ware was not principally associated with the core of the gens Batavorum, which had split from the Chatti and was relocated near Nijmegen by the Romans in c. 50 BC. It was essentially a continuation of the regional (Eburonian) pottery tradition.

2. See also Van Es 1963, table 2.

3. Maybe the finds recovered from a former school site on the northeastern edge of the medieval town centre of Wijk bij Duurstede relate to Leut. Closer examination of this excavation might clarify the matter.

4. In his article on Rijnsburg, Sarfatij draws attention to the fact that mansus may refer either to a farm or to farmland (Sarfatij 1977, 291). At Rijnsburg, where the word certainly has the second meaning, the mansus was found to be c. 6 hectares in size, which for the entire villa in question would amount to almost 157 hectares. At Katwijk-zanderij Westerbaan, the area of farmland available to each farm is estimated at 4.5 to 6 hectares. Six hectares is roughly the area of farmland that one farming unit (a farm occupied by one extended family) could manage. In this way, the two meanings may coincide again. It should be noted that in the passages about Risuuic and Lote the land belonging with the church is referred to as terrae (‘cum terris’).

5. For an overview of the research results, see Brandenburgh & Hessing 2005.

6. In the Dutch situation archaeological monuments are seldom submitted to research, since the governmental policy is to protect monuments as much as possible for the future.

7. What, for instance, to make of the fourth/fifth century ‘Anglo-Saxon’ pot found at the site of the Roman town of Forum Hadriani near Voorburg-Den Haag (De Jonge 2006)? Is the pot itself an import or does it point to the arrival of immigrants from the northern Netherlands who settled in the wholly or largely deserted urban area and thus formed a link in the (unbroken?) chain of local occupants? The latter interpretation is the more likely as there is further evidence of Frisian-Anglo-Saxon immigration in the coastal part of the province of Zuid-Holland. Waasdorp & Eimermann (2008) envisage a sparse remnant population in the fourth and fifth centuries which was augmented by an influx of ‘newcomers’ of ‘Frisian’ stock in the late fifth century. They date the Anglo-Saxon urns from Solleveld (Waasdorp & Eimermann 2008, 83 and 125) to the sixth century, which for an urn like Peeters VIII strikes us as rather late. They date the fragmentary urns of Tritsum ware very broadly: fourth to seventh centuries

8. For Utrecht see Van Lith de Jeude 1993.

9. The excavations at Utrecht were quite limited in scope so the number of Early Medieval finds is rather small. However, the reuse of the castellum as the seat of the Frisian missionary episcopate is historically documented. Early Medieval reuse of the castellum at Valkenburg (Zuid-Holland) is evidenced by just one grave from the early eighth century (Stein 1967, 401, Liste 2, Tafel 99). The excavations failed to shed much light on the history of this castellum after the Middle Roman period. Theoretically, the single rich grave may belong to a cemetery around a (private) chapel in a manorial centre.

10. Maybe a closer examination of the handmade pottery from Katwijk will succeed in filling this void.

11. The recovery of two (possible) touchstones and part of a bronze plaque bearing what has been interpreted as a trial impression of a pseudo-Madelinus Dorestad tremissis has suggested the presence of a jeweller’s or minter’s workshop: Van der Velde 2008, 408-409. Conclusive evidence for this hypothesis is of course hard to come by.

12. See also Henderikx 1987, 118-120, especially notes 19 and 30.

13. After the mid-eighth century, graves only contain grave goods in exceptional instances, rendering them undatable. The associated settlements definitely continued.

14. This table wrongly suggests that types W IIIA and B did not continue into the ninth century.

15. There is a small proportion of Roman sherds dating to the Dorestad period.

Review data:

Submission 2/2/2010

Revision 11/3/2010

2nd submission 12/3/2010