The people of ‘Operation Zwammerdamships’

The people of ‘Operation Zwammerdamships’


Volunteers are unmissable! From the start of the project, Tom Hazenberg has indicated that he wants to work with volunteers, together with professionals. In the five years that the project has now been going on, it has proven to be very successful. Tom: “The contribution of the volunteers of Team Restoration is great. Everyone brings their own knowledge and experience and can therefore contribute a solution to a problem from an unexpected angle. This has proven to be of great value in this project on several occasions. And that's what makes it so much fun to work with. This applies to both the restorers and the guides of the 'Operation Zwammerdam ships' project. The latter are a source of information for visitors and bring the story of the restoration into the limelight. By being a volunteer, the historic ships found in your 'backyard', feel like they could be yours!

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Restoring a ship that consists of so many individual parts and which is covered with PEG (Poly Ethylene Glycol) has never been done before. This makes the experiences learned at Zwammerdam 2 extremely valuable. And a wonderful basis for the restoration and reconstruction of the other ships. The process was not only recorded in words,  volunteers also made a photo archive with hundreds of photos. Another volunteer suggested putting the frame on rails: this made moving it around a lot easier, to make room for the next part of the ship. Together the volunteers and specialist went on a quest to find the right glue, everyone would think about solutions, for example the attachment of the wood fragments, the cleaning process, the reception and information material for visitors, climate control, and more. The Restoration team has become very close over this process!

The professionals
The professionals involved in this project each come from a different background. Restoration manager Yardeni Vorst is an archaeologist, wood specialist and PhD candidate. Her supervisor is archaeologist Dr. Maarten de Weerd, former excavation leader of the Zwammerdam ships. Where Yardeni focuses on the archaeological wood, historical shipbuilders Wouter Schalk and Alexander de Vos are working on the parts of the ships that need to be reconstructed. They are supported by carpenter Abdulkader Shafiq, electrical engineer Richard Pasdeloup and (technical/administrative) project employee Rob Arkema and many more. Archaeologist Tom Hazenberg and director of Museum Park Archeon Jack Veldman are concerned with the financial preconditions, publicity and the National Roman Maritime Museum which is yet to be realised. Laura Koehler is a conservation specialist employed by the Erfgoedpark Batavialand Foundation and responsible for the management of the National Maritime Collection - which also includes the Zwammerdam ships.

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Nigrvm Pvllvm
In Zwammerdam you can find the site of ‘Ipse de Bruggen’, an institution for people with intellectual disabilities. It is the excavation site of the Roman ships, and therefore archaeologically interesting. Visitor centre 'Nigrvm Pvllvm' houses the exhibition about the excavation of the Zwammerdam ships. Tom Hazenberg: ‘The management of this Limes location is now in the hands of Ipse de Bruggen and forms a fun and meaningful working environment for clients. In addition, 'Roman' products are made by clients of the daytime activities in ‘Het Atelier’. How beautiful is that?’

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