Wat doet die bronzen pot daar bij de kei van Tijnje (Fr.)?


  • Vincent van Vilsteren



What is that bronze cauldron doing at the boulder of Tijnje (province of Friesland)? In 1937, a bronze cauldron was discovered at the occasion of the translocation of a huge boulder near the village of Tijnje. This boulder had been left behind after the retreat of the Pleistocene icecap. Starting in the Bronze Age, the landscape gradually became overgrown by peat, initially reed sedge peat and carr peat and later sphagnum peat. The boulder was probably never completely covered by peat. In the 11th and 12th centuries AD, land reclamation started in the area. Soon agriculture caused oxidation of the sphagnum peat, resulting in severe subsidence. Villages were abandoned. It was not until the 17th century that commercial companies started the exploitation of these now uninhabited peatlands by cutting turfs for fuel. It is argued that the cauldron was deposited at the foot of the boulder as a ritual offering on the occasion of the start of the exploitation of the area in the 17th century.