Assen – Messchenveld

A Celtic field close to urban and industrial areas…

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Landscape context

Messchenveld II is situated on an extension of the coversand plateau and is bordered on three sides, in a natural way, by brook valleys. Only in the northwestern part a rise is visible in the landscape, caused by a coversand ridge. The Celtic fields complex seems to have been constructed at the transition between higher and lower situated areas. The soil in the Messchenveld is typed as a podzol containing loamy sand. The current use of the landscape is focused on Agricultural fields which are bordered in the south by urban and industrial developments (Messchenveld I).

AHN 2 beeld van Messchenveld.

Altitude image of Messchenveld.

Cultural-historical context

Archaeological context

Within the research area several find locations are known of flint that can be dated well within the Mesolithic – Bronze Age period. Two shards of pottery can possibly be dated to the Iron Age. At a distance of 500-1000 meter to the north of the research area a flintstone findplace from the Mesolithic – Neolithic, a stone axe dating to the same periods and two oak disk wheels  from the Late Neolithic are known.

Archaeological research

From the excavation results it can be inferred that five separate habitation clusters or settlement areas from different periods are present in the area. They are recognisable by postholes from houseplans and outbuildings. The pottery that was discovered is sometimes decorated, for instance with a comb. In general the pottery has been very fragmented making it difficult to type and date the remains. However, the predominant shape are pots with a high, cylindrical neck and pots with a slight s-curved profile. Among the recovered flintstone are two tools, a knife and a scraper and both date from the Mesolithic or Neolithic. Two possible remains of grinding stones have been found in the remaining natural stone assembly. Furthermore, in the southern part of the research area rows of stakeholes were found that may indicate to some form of plot demarcation prior to the construction of walls. The Celtic fields structures themselves are visible to a limited extent in the southernmost area of Messchenveld II.  


Wal, ter A., 2008. Assen Plangebied Messchenveld II. Inventariserend veldonderzoek door middel van proefsleuven. BAAC rapport A-07.0037.