Building towards the future, many times we manage to return to the past. This case is precisely that of the archaeological ruins that are obtained from time to time in excavations or other types of earthworks or buildings.
An example is the North-South metro line in Amsterdam, which was very challenging to build: a 15-year operation that went over budget and involved carefully digging under the foundations of centuries-old architecture.
The result of this discovery and a very careful job is that locals and travelers can now enjoy a unique site, an underground medieval museum that allows them to better understand its past.
An article published on CNN about this impressive work explains what the project was like: “For the archaeologists tasked with sifting through the soft mud to preserve any history disturbed by the massive engineering project, it was no easy task either. Their potentially dangerous work was carried out inside pressurized concrete boxes to prevent flooding in the ubiquitous waterways of the Dutch capital.
Today, the fruits of their underground labors can be seen at Rokin Station, one of eight stops on the route that features an impressive underground archaeological museum, with nearly 10,000 artifacts on display. Worth visiting for its uniqueness, the station is a testament not only to the rich heritage on which Amsterdam was built but also to the engineers and archaeologists who worked so hard to preserve it”.
Archaeologist Peter Kranendonk explained that this construction provided the opportunity to dig under the city to a depth of 30 meters, finding very ancient elements, such as mollusk shells dating back more than 115,000 years.
The Rokin Station exhibits are organized thematically: food, science and technology, for example. Allowing passers-by to gain insight into Amsterdam’s past.
An exciting and unusual project
Hoite Detmar, who served as the director of the North-South metro project from 2016 until its completion, commented on the process. “This was not a normal excavation,” he says. “Usually, the excavation is done before building. But in this case, the construction plans were already finalized. So we had to become part of the existing process. The civil engineering team was building, and we were digging”.
Declared an engineering feat by its developers, this ambitious project, the six-mile-long route, of which 4.5 miles are underground, and passes under the historic city center, opened in 2018. Although not It was a project that was well received in principle, the section transports around 120,000 passengers every day.
The project was plagued with many engineering challenges that led to a doubling of the construction budget from €1.4bn to €3.1bn, plus a 7-year delay as the initial launch date was 2011.
Video: The North/South Metro Line Amsterdam
The discovery of ruins from the past are findings that provide the population with information about the past that would be impossible to obtain without digging and going deeper.
Currently, the oldest ruin in the world is the prehistoric complex of Gobekli Tepe, located in Turkey, which is made up of megalithic stone ruins that are about 11,000 years old.
Just to name a few of the most important findings, we can name:
If this topic interests you, you will have a lot of fun finding some very interesting information in the following articles:
Amstel, Spiegel van de Stad” (Amstel, Mirror of the City)
THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL FINDS OF THE NORTH / SOUTHLINE