Een grens van steen (The Stone Frontier)
Op avontuur langs de Muur van Hadrianus (an adventurous journey along Hadrian's Wall)
28 april - 29 august 2010
Photos by Marian van de Veen-van Rijk and written by Herman Vuijsje
On Tuesday 27 April 2010 the Allard Pierson Museum will open the photo exhibition een grens van steen, op avontuur langs de Muur van Hadrianus (the stone frontier, an adventurous journey along Hadrian's Wall). At the same time the book of the same name will be presented, with photos by Marian van de Veen-van Rijk and text by Herman Vuijsje. The book and the photo exhibition, open until 29 August, take the visitor and the reader on an extraordinary journey along Hadrian's Wall, the most northerly border of the Roman Empire for nearly three centuries.
While Asterix and Obelix are fictional characters, the Picts really did exist. These former inhabitants of Scotland were known as barbaric warriors and the Romans could not manage to overthrow them. That is why in 122 A.D. Emperor Hadrian ordered a wall to be built 'to separate the Romans from the barbarians.
To this day the Wall winds its way through the countryside south of the English-Scottish border. The Wall was 177 kilometres long and ran from the current Newcastle on the east coast to Bowness-on-Solway on the west coast. It was an imposing colossus, three metres wide and up to six metres high in some places, reinforced with forts, watchtowers and moats. This stone frontier was guarded by Roman auxiliary troops, with a significant role for Batavian cohorts.
The Wall anno 2010
Two thousand years later, parts of the Wall have been remarkably well preserved. Excavations continue to reveal new details of the course of the Wall, but also about the lives of the soldiers guarding it and the local population. Much remains unknown, which automatically makes a walk along the Wall, as Marian van de Veen and Herman Vuijsje undertook on many occasions, an adventurous expedition.
The exhibition and the book
The photo exhibition Een grens van steen and the book of the same name reveal the results of this expedition. The questions that spring to the minds of walkers today formed the point of departure. What did the Wall really look like? What does it say about the Batavian presence? How does the Wall relate to the surrounding landscape? And what do the people along the Wall tell us? The book Een grens van steen. Op avontuur langs de Muur van Hadrianus with photos by Marian van de Veen-van Rijk and text by Herman Vuijsje (published by Celadon uitgevers, Bilthoven, ISBN 978 90 8948 013 2, €20) is available in the museum gift shop. The photo exhibition at the Allard Pierson Museum will be open until 29 August.