World heritage Schokland

Timeless Mystery

Why is Schokland a World Heritage Site?

Why is Schokland a World Heritage Site?

Schokland is a unique combination of cultural history and nature. Evidence of human habitation going back more than 10,000 years can be found there. It is a place between land and water, in the middle of the Noordoostpolder, with a wealth of archaeological treasures.

It is not surprising that UNESCO decided to award Schokland the status of World Heritage Site in 1995. The World Heritage Site status constitutes proof that people lived on Schokland from prehistoric times until the reclamation of the Noordoostpolder.

Hidden treasures

It is still possible to see that Schokland was once an island. You see it in the landscape and the monumental buildings such as the historic church and the lighthouse keeper’s house. And, of course, the rich, archaeological seabed archive. What is particularly special about these treasures is that some of them are completely intact and, therefore, undamaged.

Battle against the water

Schokland symbolises the life of the Dutch people in their battle with and against the water. And, in spite of the threat of floods and the poverty, people always lived there. From the prehistoric hunter-gatherers to modern-day inhabitants. Thousands of years of history relating to human habitation in the Netherlands is lying concealed in the ground under Schokland.

Many archaeological sites

Prehistoric earthenware and tools have been found in the ground, but also complete graves, remains of houses, man-made mounds (terpen), church remains and dyke systems. A little more than 160 archaeological sites are evidence of the development and culture of the inhabitants of Schokland; ranging from hunter-gatherer and farmer to islander and polder inhabitant.

Schokland World Heritage Site

The Schokland World Heritage Site also encompasses the surrounding agricultural areas and the Schokkerbos, in addition to the former island. Film about why Schokland is a World Heritage Site.