Journal of Archaeology in the Low Countries 4-2 (April 2013)Annet Nieuwhof: Anglo-Saxon immigration or continuity? Ezinge and the coastal area of the northern Netherlands in the Migration Period.


In 2011, the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research (NWO), enabled the full study of the find material from the excavations that were conducted between 1923 and 1934 in the terp of Ezinge (province of Groningen), as part of the Odyssee-programme. In this paper, the results of the study of the handmade pottery from this settlement are used to shed new light on the habitation history of Ezinge and of the terp area of the northern Netherlands in general during the Migration Period, the 4th and 5th century AD. The area was largely abandoned in this period, but Ezinge is one of the few terps where habitation was continuous. This paper presents the results of this pottery study and compares them to other settlements with continuous habitation in the same period: Midlaren-De Bloemert in northern Drenthe, and the Feddersen Wierde in Lower-Saxony. The development of the so-called Anglo-Saxon pottery style of this period is actually an indigenous development, which is inspired by pottery and contacts from elsewhere. It is argued that differences in habitation history are probably related to differences in landscape, but also to the different social networks in which the settlements in the northern Netherlands participated.