Roman Boat in Madurodam

8 June 2009
The Roman boat

The Roman boat

Madurodam may be the smallest city of the Netherlands, it can now claim one of the most spectacular Roman finds in recent history: during an excavation, the remains of an ancient ship were found. The mayor, Mr Friso Wesseling, and the Dutch minister of Education, Mr Ronald Plasterk, immediately visited the place, being escorted -for the occasion- by a small bodyguard of two lictores reenactors. Many people attended the press conference.

Excavators The Roman boat again Minister Plasterk

Joking apart now, Madurodam is an open air museum, where important monuments have been rebuilt on a 1:25 scale. It is also a war memorial, dedicated to George Maduro, a decorated war hero who died in Dachau; the proceeds of the museum are for the Society for the Support of the Dutch Student Sanatorium. The Madurodam Roman ship is about a meter long, corresponding to the twenty-five meters of the original boat, which archaeologists know as the “De Meern 1”. As it happens, there’s also a full-scale reconstruction (more…).

The presentation of the new model was part of a symposium on what is, somewhat grandiloquently, called “reverse archaeology” – the idea that archaeology can better be integrated into large building projects, so that people may become more aware of their history.