VU archaeologist and professor Jos Bazelmans discovers 13.000-year-old forest hidden under peatland.

Jos Bazelmans, who also works as an archaeologist for the Cultural Heritage Agency, recently published his discovery of one of the oldest forests ever found in the Netherlands.

03/23/2017 | 1:41 PM

The find consisted of a total of 160 pine trees dug up from the Den Treek estate in Leusden. The tallest tree was 18 metres high, with the oldest tree reaching an age of at least 167 years. Earlier attempts to find the forest had failed after others had doubted whether there was a forest to be found there. Nevertheless, Bazelmans, who knows the area well, persisted.

Bazelmans worked with VU-based geoscientist Kees Kasse during this project. The trees stem from an interesting time, probably seeing the onset of the Younger Dryas, the final cold period following the last ice age, which saw temperatures suddenly plummet in the middle of a warmer period.

Photo: © Rijksdienst voor het Culturele Erfgoed