(1MBB/VU University Amsterdam / 2State heritage, The Netherlands)

Keywords: digitization analogue material, heritage, city development

Six years ago the Dorestad Project” started with the specific aim to try to digitally disclose all the analogue material (with the emphasis on the old excavation drawings)  from the excavations carried out at Dorestad (modern Wijk bij Duurstede) in the last 150 years. Was it possible to vectorize all the 4500 individual drawings from the different excavations from different years into a usable and coherent format? If so can the result be used in the analysis of all the individual historical periods of this site and can it be connected to the written administrations of the different find categories. And most important could the result be used in creating an archeological map of the town and surrounding area that could be used by the city administration of Wijk bij Duurstede and State Heritage to devise future policies concerning new excavations in Dorestad.
Now six years later we can say yes! All the drawings have been vectorized into a coherent system that is being used at the moment by Researchers like Raphaël Panhuyzen and Stijn Heeren to rewrite the story of Dorestad. The new digital map is also the cornerstone of the conference held later this year at Leiden. It is a conference solely dedicated to Dorestad.
This presentation will show you how it was done and some of the results which were derived from the digital excavation map. One of the most important is that Dorestad was not an organically grown settlement, but from the Roman times till the late Middle-Ages, it was planned. Finally the map can pinpoint which areas in the city of wijk bij Duurstede are important for future excavations and which not.