Archaeology

This is a subject I want to have a better look at, but I’m still hunting for information. Here are some preliminary results.

Archaeology in the Netherlands officially ‘exists’ since 1818 when it became a study at the University of Leiden and the National Museum for Antiquities was founded in the same city. This didn’t immediately lead to a boom of archaeological investigations in the country though. In Farwerck’s time, especially after WWII, there was a growing number of amateur archaeologists and interested people who started to unite and to cooperate with the finally growing number of professional archaeologists. That is when things start to get interesting regarding Farwerck.

In his post-war interviews Farwerck says: “In 1941 I became beneficiary for the association for local history”. Apparently during the war the first initiatives arose for local groups. It would take another decade before organisations for archaeological amateurs would take place. The current umbrella organisation for such groups writes on their website: “In 1952 the first five departments are started in het Gooi, Amsterdam, Kennemerland, Rijnstreek and Den Haag and surroundings. In the years 1958 – 62 we see further growth of the society and six new departments are formed.”

Farwerck lived in “het Gooi”. The museum that he helped to found in his home town in 1933 was called “Museum het Gooi and surroundings”, so this archaeological group will be the one that he was most active in.

From 1953 this local group had a periodical called Westerheem (1953-2017) and Farwerck has texts published in the editions of 1953, 1954, 1957 and 1963. He remained active for at least a decade. Also he lectured for this and other local groups.

In 1963 the chairman of the day, Siem Pos (1916-2001), looks back at the years 1952 to 1963. Pos was one of the founders, but he praises Farwerck as “the founder” of the local group. Pos and Farwerck are said to have been long time friends.
Pos’ Im Memoriam recalls how in September 1951 he joined the first archaeological group in Haarlem immediately after it was founded, together with this friend Henk Verhagen who was one of the founders. In 1953 he was one of the people behind the local group in Hilversum. Verhagen was editor of Westerheem.

Another name that is mentioned is J.R. Jansma “for years the first chairman of the working group”. In 1976 Jansma passed away, 81 years of age. The same Pos wrote an In Memoriam for Westerheem in which he looks back to the lecture of 25 April 1952 on which date a C.C.J.W. Hijszeler from Enschede held a lecture for “archaeologically interested” in Hilversum (Farwerck’s home town). That night the local department was founded and Jansma was the first chairman, a position that he held until 1958. He remained active until his final years.
Jansma “was no man of he spade, but he stood at the breach for the association with word and deed”. He was physician and dental doctor, but he has long suffered a serious illness himself.
Unfortunately the In Memoriam doesn’t say who followed Jansma.

In 1993 Pos is still around and he wrote about the first 40 years of the local group that has been renamed Naerdincklant, an old reference to the area that Farwerck already used in a lecture in 1933!

In 1964 the regional umbrella organisation made place for a nationwide organisation. In 2011 the name was changed.

Not too much information about Farwerck and his archaeological acquiescences yet, but at least a small peak into a movement that Farwerck was active in too.


Further reading (in Dutch):

  • Here we have some history of the AWN;
  • A PDF with history and photos;
  • Westerheem periodicals online;
  • More about the history of Westerheem here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *