W. Laan 1 / W. K. van Zijverden 2
(1 ADC-Archeoprojecten BV / 2 Faculty of Archaeology University Leiden)

As part of the NWO-funded project, “Living in a (cultural) dynamic landscape, the Bronze Age in the Dutch river area”, landscape reconstructions will be made of the surroundings of six large-scale excavations. The selected sites were excavated between 1966 and 1999. During excavations carried out within the scope of the construction of a freight railway it became apparent that of the sites expected to be situated on a stream ridge, many were actually situated in a flood basin on crevasse splay deposits. Moreover, these sites on crevasse splay deposits are far better preserved and have a smaller time-depth compared to sites situated on stream ridges. Even on detailed soil maps, geological maps and geomorphological maps (up to scale 1:25,000) the crevasse splay deposits of the excavated areas are not represented due to their irregular geomorphology. The conventional and very expensive way of mapping based on borings can improve the quality and usefulness of these maps for archeological research only to a limited extent. Since last year a database of laser altimetry based height measurements of the Dutch river area is available. Within the scope of a SENTER-funded research program the possibilities for detailed soil mapping for archaeological research are being studied amongst others. A method has been developed based on the specific environmental characteristics resulting in enhanced DEMs with an astonishing detail of the outlines of, for example, crevasse splay deposits.
These images can be interpreted using available digital boring databases. Prospective modelling for archaeological sites in the Dutch river area can be strongly improved with this technique. It also has extensive consequences for policy documents like the Dutch National Indicative Map of Archeological Values (IKAW).