The exhibition “Onder de Leien, een gracht vol schatten” (Below the Leien, a canal full of treasures) has opened in Antwerp, presenting 150 archaeological findings.
These were unearthed during work on the Kipdorp site, during construction of two tunnels and an underground car park.
The discoveries are mainly everyday objects, the main piece being a luxurious 16th century curved-bladed sword.
The Kipdorp Gate was an important part of Antwerp’s Spanish ramparts, which, as of the 16th century and for 300 years, allowed the bourgeois, merchants, farmers and travellers to enter the city.
For Antwerp’s residents, the Kipdorp area was both a meeting place and an attractive public space.
Excavations have revealed a host of objects of that period’s everyday life, that can be discovered in all of its facets. Lots of military objects have also been found because of the numerous sieges.
Dice, musical instruments, cannonballs, swords, local and foreign currencies, as well as an extremely rare alchemist medal are among the main discoveries.
The major piece is a well-preserved sword dating back to 1583 that could have been lost during the attack of Antwerp led by the Duke of Anjou.
The exhibition also highlights the construction and demolition of the city’s fortifications, which gave way in the 19th century to urban development.
The Brussels Times