Swifterbant-S25 (gemeente Dronten, provincie Flevoland). Een bijzondere vindplaats van de Swifterbant-cultuur (ca. 4500-3700 cal. BC)


  • D.C.M. Raemaekers
  • J. Geuverink
  • I. Woltinge
  • J. van der Laan
  • A. Maurer
  • E.E. Scheele
  • T. Sibma
  • D.J. Huisman


Fieldwork conducted from 2008 to 2010 near one of the river dunes in the Swifterbant river system (the Netherlands) provided new insights in the regional occupation history during the Neolithic (c. 4500-3700 BC). Excavations in the 1960's and 1970's at river dune sites S21-S24 focused on the finds and features in the dune sand. It proved impossible to subdivide the finds into various occupation phases in Mesolithic and Neolithic. In contrast, the levee sites along the river system are dated to the period 4300-4000 cal. BC.

The new excavations at S25 are located at the border zone of the dune, built-up with clay deposits in with all finds were registered within small spit cells (50 cm x 50 cm x 5 cm). This allowed a detailed analysis of the spatial distribution of the finds. In combination with several 14C dates, the data indicates a slow build-up of the deposits in the period 4500-3700 cal. BC.

A comparison of artefact characteristics underlines that S25 is to be interpreted as a site of the Swifterbant culture. Nevertheless S25 proved to be rather different from all other known sites in the area. Its ceramics are a subset of the ceramics available at the other sites. There are no features (e.g. no hearths, graves, or postholes). Additionally, there is no evidence for cereal cultivation.

It is concluded that S25 is a dump zone related to activities on the river dune. These activities are more restricted in scope than those attested by the levee sites, suggesting that the river dune had a specific function in the regional occupation system. It is supposed that S25 is the remnant of a series of small scale and intermittent visits to the dune. As such, S25 extends our interpretation of human behavioural variability in the Swifterbant region.