Vlaardingen, not far from Rotterdam hosts a large nature reserve, called Broekpolder. Its size is 400 hectares (almost 1,000 acres), a quarter of the surface of Vlaardingen Municipality. It is an area for walking, mountain biking, et cetera. Masamuda aims to offer children and other people with an interest in the regional archaeology a real-live insight into past settlements in the Dutch delta.
2006, a civil initiative started to prevent the Broekpolder from being overbuilt with new houses. Citizens and the local municipality now cooperate in developing this area. One part of Broekpolder is an archaeological education zone, Masamuda. Vlaardingen has an archaeological past going back very long. Masamuda is meant to reconstruct dwellings from all periods, Stone Age until more recent times. The first house was built in summer 2016, a so called Vlaardingen Culture House. The Vlaardingen Culture is a Neolithic period (about 3,000 BC) and was named after archaeological finds from the 1950s in Vlaardingen Westwijk. The Stone Age house at Broekpolder was constructed by archaeology students from Leiden University and volunteers from Vlaardingen. It is surrounded by a palisade and has small agricultural fields around the corner. The second house reconstructed here is the Rottahouse, dated to about 1,000 AD. Over the coming years more houses will be reconstructed and the landscape will also be remodelled.
Masamuda is used for school groups and is open on Sunday afternoons for passers-by.
Our activities are:
- reconstruction of houses from several archaeological periods, excavated in the Dutch delta and the belonging landscapes
- educational activities for children
- enhancing experimental archaeology together with the Centre for Material Culture Studies of the Faculty of Archaeology, University Leiden
- enhancing experimental archaeology together with local/regional archaeological societies and volunteers