2004
Volume 53, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0165-8204
  • E-ISSN: 2667-1573

Abstract

Summary

It is in the nature of the Dutch Limes, buried as it is under later river sediments and modern townscapes, that it is fundamentally invisible. Over the past fifteen years, a surge of local initiatives to create Roman references and replicas in our public spaces has gone a long way to make up for this. Many of these ‘emperor’s new clothes’ have been styled in a bold new language of ‘Dutch design’, giving a distinct imprint to this corner of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire. The flipside of the Dutch approach, typically averse to central coordination, could be a lack of coherence and sustained management. This paper will draw up an interim balance sheet. After a cycle tour along the Dutch Limes sector we will look into two major recent endeavours of public outreach: the Zwammerdam ships project with its twin hubs of the NIGRVM PVLLVM visitor centre and the Archeon museum park at Zwammerdam and Alphen aan den Rijn, respectively, and the making of Castellum Hoge Woerd at Utrecht, a true to scale replica of the local Roman fort. The paper concludes with some of the most urgent lessons learnt.

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