100,000 hours of Archaeology

16 December 2011 until 18 November 2012

Restored beakers (2500–2000 BC)Restored beakers (2500–2000 BC)
Flints and hazelnuts (9000-6000 BC)Flints and hazelnuts (9000-6000 BC)

The Archaeology of the Netherlands department has a permanent space for compact temporary exhibitions about topics in Dutch archaeology. Until 18 November 2012, this space will host the exhibition 100,000 Hours of Archaeology: Collecting in the Veluwe.

100,000 Hours of Archaeology - Collecting in the Veluwe

The remarkable collection of amateur archaeologist and collector Eduard Zuurdeeg, in combination with his thorough documentation and his own scale models, forms a unique record of the history of Ede and the Veluwe. Along with drawers full of arrowheads and potsherds, it includes mysterious ancient ceramics, graceful bell beakers and axes, large grinding stones, Roman coins, and medieval wine bottles.

Eduard Zuurdeeg's collection

Eduard Zuurdeeg began with a shell collection in his childhood years. At the age of thirteen, he began combing the countryside for archaeological artefacts, and when he moved to the forested Veluwe region in the 1950s, the town of Ede and its surroundings became his archaeological 'hunting grounds'. Archaeology and collecting had become a great passion in his life, absorbing a great deal of time and energy. Eduard Zuurdeeg spent sixty years on this pursuit, four to five days a week, working indoors for fifteen hours and outdoors for twenty. That amounts to more than 100,000 hours of archaeology, an astonishing investment of time.

Knowledge and effort of inestimable value

The value of Zuurdeeg's collection and working methods stems from his practice of painstakingly recording and reporting his finds. His diligence has made it possible for professional archaeologists to conduct further research on some find spots and secure them for the future. The National Museum of Antiquities purchased his collection in 2010, in partnership with the municipality of Ede. The objects and documents that it contains symbolize the passion and dedication of all amateur archaeologists in the Netherlands. Their knowledge and efforts are of inestimable value to the field, not only because of the objects and sites that they discover, but also because they help to protect Dutch archaeological heritage in the broadest sense.

< Click on the photographs for enlarged versions

Ceramic beakers2500 - 2000 BC
Flints and hazelnuts9000 - 6000 BC