Het project Peelo: Het onderzoek in de jaren 1981, 1982, 1986, 1987 en 1988


  • P.B. Kooi


This is the second of three papers about the excavations near the hamlet of Peelo, municipality of Assen, in the province of Drenthe. In this article the excavations of 1981, 1982. 1986. 1987 and 1988 are published. In these five campaigns the nucleus of the historic settlement and its nearby surroundings were investigated.

A reconstruction of the late medieval situation from the archives by A.C. Bardet was used as a guide to plan this part of the project (fig. 1 ). In the reconstruction Peelo consisted of three farmsteads, named Huisinge, Hovinge and Derkinge. The aims of the excavations were to study the development of the settlement in the medieval period and to compare it with the reconstruction. It was possibIe to excavate three quarters of Hovinge, the whole of Derkinge and a field area (Haverland) to the north of the settlement.

Results. The settlement traces that were discovered in this area turned out to be partly much older than was expected.

Iron Age. The oldest traces date from the Iron Age and are spread over some distance. A house plan in the northern area is related to the Hijken type (fig. 8). In combination with the pottery types (Nos 546, 555, 1374 and 1760) habitation in this period can be dated between 700 and 200 BC. Groups of small granaries are an indication that there has been a (Celtic) field system.

Roman era. Habitation during this period started in the first century AD, according to pottery finds in the southern area (Nos 782, 880, 937 and 959) and moved to the north where house plan No. 80 is situated (fig. 1 1). The last phase in this period is a farmstead surrounded by fences in the north. with the house plans Nos 57 and 58, granaries, a shed and wells. The development of this farm yard can be described in three phases (fig. 57), with the last phase abandoned about 250 AD.

The medieval period. The earliest settlement traces from this period ean be dated in the 8th century. Early house plans are the Odoorn C' and Gasselte A type. They are spread in three clusters over a large area, with the Nos 59, 60 and 75 in the west, Nos 83, 88, 90, 93 and 96 in the east and Nos 53, 54, 78 and 79 in the north (fig. 7). These are accompanied by sheds, stacks, helms and wells. Sunken huts, which are common for this period in other sites are not found, although in three cases a kind of hut can be suspected (fig. 43).

During the late medieval period the farmsteads of Hovinge and Derkinge evolved from two of the three early clusters. Hovinge is a continuation of the western cluster and grew in five steps to the boundaries of the reconstructed size, with huge house plans of the Gasselte B and B' type (Nos 67 and 68), rows of helms and large barns, surrounded by ditches (fig. 59). Hovinge, though split in two farmsteads during the 18th century, remained occupied till the present day. For Derkinge a similar development can be seen, but in this case the yard is smaller and there are no rows of helms or a large barn (fig. 60). In the last phase there seems to have been a kitchen garden. The difference in size and buildings confirms the difference in importance suggested by written sources. The site of Derkinge was aoandoned in the 15th century.

The third cluster mentioned for the early medieval period has no follow up at the same spot. It seems obvious that this farm has been moved to the reconstructed farmstead Huisinge.