If you’ve ever wondered what lies at the bottom of a river, you’ve got your answer. Archeologists recently drained a canal in Amsterdam, and catalogued everything they found. The findings date all the way back to over 100,000 B.C., and present a comprehensive picture of what objects have been important to Dutch society throughout history.
You can start browsing the catalog from either the top (2005) or the bottom (-119000), but the oldest artifacts found in the river were shells thought to be over 100,000 years old. As for human remnants, there are old rock-carved blades and utensils belonging to prehistoric man, dating back to 5,300 B.C., and even the ancient bones of large mammals like bears, sheep, and goats.
Moving forward in time, the objects become slightly more recognizable, with urns, glassware, and ornamental plates from the 16th and 17th centuries, and rusty tools from the 20th. Perusing the findings from the 21st century might feel like taking a nostalgic trip back to your childhood. There are old Nokia cell phones, Pokémon toys, baby dolls, and dice, among tons of lost credit cards, driver’s licenses, keys, and other trinkets.
You could spend hours looking through this catalog, and it wouldn’t be time wasted. It truly paints a detailed picture of life in Amsterdam from, essentially, the beginning of time. To see all the objects found, check out the catalog here.