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Understanding A Medieval Fishing Settlement Along The Southern North Sea: Walraversijde, C. 1200–1630

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Chapter Summary

Nearly fifteen years of systematic archaeological research at Walraversijde, a deserted late medieval fishing village situated on the Flemish coast next to Ostend, has been carried out concomitantly with a large-scale analysis of the landscape and its available written sources. This combination provides a huge database without comparison for the study of late medieval and early modern fishing communities in the southern part of the North Sea area. This chapter focuses on the evolution of this settlement from a probable seasonal fishing settlement in the twelfth or thirteenth centuries to a permanent and flourishing fishing village, which was finally deserted in the late sixteenth to early seventeenth centuries. Historical records show the presence of fishermen from Walraversijde in English ports, and these fishing activities were commercially oriented, which is also shown by the archaeological record.

Keywords: archaeological record; English ports; fishermen; fishing activities; fishing village; medieval fishing settlement; north sea; Walraversijde



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