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Below the Surface

The city of Amsterdam recently built a massive metro line that crossed the historic city from north to south (from Nieuwe Leeuwarderweg to Europaplein), connecting the two regions of the city that are divided by the IJ, a former bay. Between 2003 and 2015, a team of archeologists had the opportunity to excavate over 700,000 objects that lay beneath the River Amstel, which was drained as part of the metro construction process. This river was "once the vital artery, the central axis, of the city," connecting a trade port off of the IJ (built approximately 800 years ago) to the central city. In Below the Surface, visitors can learn more about this extraordinary archeological project and view some of the fascinating objects unearthed by this endeavor. As the authors of this website note, "the objects paint a multi-faceted picture of daily life in the city of Amsterdam." Visitors can explore Below the Surface in a variety of ways. Those interested in learning more about the story behind this project may want to start with The Excavations, which offers a thirteen-part history of the project. Those interested in exploring some of the artifacts will want to check out See All Objects (where uncovered objects are organized by year of excavation) and Object Stories (where visitors can learn more about the historical context behind some of these objects). Another highlight of Below the Surface is a virtual tour of the Rokin Metro Station, which recently displayed a number of items uncovered during the excavation.
Archived Scout Publication URL
Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication
August 3rd, 2018
Date Of Record Creation
July 31st, 2018 at 10:13am
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