On Thursday 22 June I will host three short workshop during the conference Ditching Dikes? of the Young Wadden Academy.

“O boring slab, o hellish barcode” – J. de Koning, 2000

Traditional Icelandic arches serve as an inspiration for the workshop. Photo: Oliver Goddard.



For this workshop we’ll literally take a piece of Wadden Sea with us behind the sea dike. Honestly, literally. We’ll be questioning whether our modern expectations of life in an undiked wadden area are actually correct. Do you see possibilities, opportunities? Or do you focus on limitations; is such an undiked existence impossible? Let’s put this to the test and ditch the dike. Or rather: we’ll build a hole in the dike. Much like the dike builders of old, we’ll be putting one turf on top of another – turves are blocks of grassland, but you probably knew that already. It Fryske Gea has provided us with authentic salt marsh turves, hand-cut by myself in Noord-Friesland Buitendijks. 

It will become evident that dike building old style was a careful business and ancient salt marsh dwellers invested all their turf building knowledge into this. And what knowledge they had! Consider this: how do you keep your feet dry in an undiked wadden area? How do you collect fresh water in a brackish wadden area? How do you build a house in a treeless wadden area? Exactly! With turves! There are many more possibilities to building with turf than one might expect. This is what I’ll show you. Time for a tribute to turf.

Ditching Dikes

Ditching Dikes: rethinking our coastal defensesJoin the discussion!Register via: https://www.waddenacademie.nl/en/ditch-the-dikes-registration/

Geplaatst door Young Wadden Academy op maandag 29 mei 2017

Workshop: Tribute to turf (Leeuwarden, NL)
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2 thoughts on “Workshop: Tribute to turf (Leeuwarden, NL)

  • August 4, 2017 at 5:54 am

    Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say
    wonderful blog!

    • August 4, 2017 at 8:04 am

      Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear this. Checked the admin page, but afraid nothing came through behind the scenes either… Happened to me on other websites a couple of times and I now always use ctrl+A, ctrl+C (select all, copy all) before submitting. Such a pity to miss your lengthy comment. Thanks so much for sharing your enthusiasm in a second attempt; much appreciated! If you do feel like re-typing later, don’t hesitate to do so, either through the website or by e-mail to archaeobuild[at]gmail.com. Regards, Daniel


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