Iron Age homes found in Sint-Niklaas

The earth around Sint-Niklaas (East Flanders) has given up new secrets after traces of five houses dating from the late Iron Age as well as several Roman cremation graves were uncovered.  The discoveries were made during an archaeological dig in preparation of a new park in the Nieuwkerken district of the town.

The discovery is expected to provide a wealth of information about a period about which little is known: the transition from late Iron Age ancient Belgians to the Roman era.

The site of the new park is the size of five soccer pitches.  The work is providing ample opportunity for archaeologists to research the area.

The five houses probably belonged to farmers who worked the sandy soil of the Waasland District for some considerable time.  “Often they had a hard time producing enough food to see them through the year” says archaeologist Bart Lauwers. When the harvest was poor people must have lived on the verge of starvation. The farms were simple buildings.  They were built from wood and had thatched roofs.  There were a number of granaries as well as fences in areas where livestock could be kept.  The people who lived here survived on the produce of the soil and everything their animals gave them.”