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Archeologisch noodonderzoek op het toekomstige bedrijventerrein Plassendale III (Zandvoorde, stad Oostende, prov. West-Vlaanderen): interimverslag 2000-2001
Vanhoutte, S.; Pieters, M. (2003). Archeologisch noodonderzoek op het toekomstige bedrijventerrein Plassendale III (Zandvoorde, stad Oostende, prov. West-Vlaanderen): interimverslag 2000-2001. Archeol. Vlaan. 7: 95-110
In: Archeologie in Vlaanderen = Archaeology in Flanders. Instituut voor het Archeologisch Patrimonium: Brussel. ISSN 0778-2837, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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    During the summer of 2001, the Institute for the Archaeological Heritage of the Flemish Community performed surveys and excavations on the future industrial site of Plassendale III, Zandvoorde (Oostende) (fig. 1:1). This happened for the third consecutive year. This campaign was held to ensure the scientific study of this soil archive, before the big infrastructural works would inevitably destroy it. The preliminary results of the campaigns of 2000 and 2001 and their analysis are the subjects of this report. Here, the attention is focused on the evidence of Roman activity, on a late-Carolingian and medieval site and on parts of a dike, dating back to the 17th century. One of the main archaeological interventions consisted of studying the soil profiles revealed by the digging of the trenches for the construction of the sewerage that crossed the site over a total length of 1.5 km (fig. 3: I). Clear cut profiles- over 4 m of depth, were made in these trenches. On these profiles the stratigraphy of the site was clearly visible, from the top of the Surface Peat to the ground level. Roman presence was located on several spots. Two profiles revealed a sloping, stratified and peaty deposit from which a large amount of Roman pottery was recovered (fig. 3: 1, 4, 5, 6). Similar ceramics were discovered in slightly sloping layers, characterised by the presence of many shells and situated at a depth of 2 to 2.95 m T.A.W (the Belgian ordnance datum) (fig. 3: 3). A clear Roman level could not be distinguished here. In another part "of the trenches, a possible Roman layer could be traced over a total length of 650 meters and a depth of 2 meters T.A. W (fig. 3: 5,7). It can possibly be identified as a plough layer. The interpretation of this layer as a plough layer remains open to discussion as cur- rent investigations on soil samples, in co-operation with the University of Gent and the Belgian Geological Survey, should provide a better understanding of the Roman presence in this area. The majority of the ceramic finds, including local pottery as well as imported wares such as Samian Ware, date back to the 2nd century AD, while a few pieces seem to date from the 3rd century AD. During the excavation campaigns a medieval site was located in another area of plassendale III (fig. 3: II). This site, which revealed many ditches, pits and post-holes, seems to include two occupation phases. The first phase dates to the late-Carolingian period (the end of the 9th century-beginning of the 10th century AD) while the second dates to the 12th century AD. In the excavated area, which was clearly divided in several plots, a few floor plans were recognised (fig. 8). A construction measuring nearly 7.5 by 4 meters was revealed together with the ground-plan of a small four-post building measuring 2.5 by 2.5 m. They could both be allocated to the first occupation phase. The date of a floor-plan measuring 8 by 4 meters and three small four-post buildings remains uncertain. All together, the traces as well as the finds from this medieval site strongly suggest for this settlement an agricultural vocation. To the north of the excavation a slightly rolling terrain is still apparent (fig. 3: III) .It is the remaining part of the Zandvoorde-dike, a dike built in 1663 to protect the village from floods. Historically, this area is a part of the Historical Polders of Oostende (fig. 2). These polders were flooded during the 17th and 18th centuries by which the landscape was severely changed. Due to this dike however, the area discussed in this report, was spared from such transformations. A cross-section through the dike revealed that it was almost 12.5 meters wide and that it is still preserved to an average height of 1.2 meters (fig. 13).

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