Constructing the Limes goes Reuvensdagen 2022

Arjen de Groot and Lisette Kootker

This year, the Constructing the Limes team participated in the Reuvensdagen, the annual national archaeology conference, this year held at Breda. It was a great way for various team members to present their own research within the project to the wider (commercial) archaeological field and connect with Dutch archaeologists.

Four of our PhD students, Arjan de Ruiter, Anna van der Weij, Kadir Toykan Özdogan and Maura De Coster, successfully pitched their PhD research during the “Present your PhD” session with the aim of getting feedback from the audience on the interpretation, methodology, data and execution of their research. Arjan and Anna presented their PhD projects under the umbrella “The impact of the Lower Germanic Limes a study of material culture and burial rituals”. Next, Maura and Kadir focused on aspects such as presence, diet, and mobility of (cremated) humans and animals through isotopes and sedaDNA research.  

Anna van der Weij, Lisette Kootker, Maura De Coster, Arjan Ruiter and Kadir Toykan Ozdogan at the poster presentation

In addition to the podium presentations, three of them also presented posters, which attracted significant attention from the participants, especially on the second day of the conference. Lisette Kootker’s poster asking for input regarding sample locations for the construction of the second Dutch strontium isoscape that will be generated within the Constructing the Limes project, was also well read and visited and many pins appeared on the map indicating suggestions for new sampling. 

On the second day, we had our own session chaired by Lisette, entitled “Living along the Lower Germanic Limes”, which attracted a full house. Besides a lecture on the project by Saskia Stevens, talks on isotope and human aDNA research by Henk van der Velde (ADC) and Eveline Altena (LUMC) respectively, Arjen de Groot gave an enthusiastic introductory presentation on the application of sedaDNA within the project, the development of sampling strategies and sample kits. Moreover, potential research questions that could be asked within commercial archaeology and answered by sedaDNA were briefly discussed.

Collaboration with the Dutch archaeological field is paramount to the success of the Constructing the Limes project. Cooperation with our colleagues is important in making material available for (destructive) research, involving the project in sites where sedaDNA samples can be taken, archaeological interpretation of geochemical data, and so on. The Reuvensdagen 2022 thereby gave us an perfect platform to bring Constructing the Limes even more to the attention of Dutch archaeology, hopefully leading to an even more optimal integration and collaboration in the next 3.5 years.

More photo’s of the Reuvensdagen below.