A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Around 9.20 am, a young lady rode a bike to the entrance of the park. I was sitting on the bench made of stone. She had a folder bike and had a small backpack. Suddenly, she came to me and told her name. Her study topic is dendrochronology and due to graduate in August this year.
About 9.30 am, our chief guide, Mark arrived and he noticed her next to me. He came to us and said hello. He asked her when she graduates and what to do. While we were chatting, my pocket watch was indicating approximately 9.40 am; and I saw that a party of students were coming to us.
The students were from Newcastle, England and the leader in the party was Ian, who was the professor of archaeology at Newcastle University. He guided Hadrian’s Wall in March this year when my party visited Newcastle. I feel that he is definitely strong mentally and physically; his strong point is that he explains everything easily; it was utterly effective to understand what objects were.
Mark led us into the garden of the recent building and explained when and how he and his team-mates excavated the area. According to Mark, the excavation zone was sandy; and his father used to train him to bike a motorcycle when he was much younger. He also told that the whole area was not excavated at that time; except for the building zone, other parts remained as a green meadow.
After his exciting and interesting stories, we went towards the Museum Het Valkhof. Valkhof Park is the area containing the Neimegen Roman Palace. Beside the park, there is the Museum Het Valkhof. We paid museum entrance fees and browsed inside of the museum. The most interesting and memorable gallery was the special exhibition of Roman objects. Statues of Roman deity look entirely similar to those of Buddhism. Presumably, they would have usually been in the street everywhere at that time.
The academic staff of the museum, Arijan talked to me and introduced himself when I was browsing around the special exhibition gallery. He studies Carolingian palaces in the Netherlands in the seventh century CE. He looked pretty proud of himself studying and working Early Medieval period.
We gathered at around 2.30 pm in the lobby of the museum and went out of the museum. Arijan guided us to look around Valkhof Park. He described how the park is important and why he and his colleagues were not able to conduct archaeological investigations at the park due to the limitation of academic surveys in Neimegen.
Lastly, he showed the ruin of Roman wall under the casino; it remained about 2 metres high. He ended his guidance that the Municipality should have considered more meticulous care for the Dutch-Romano cultural heritage in the Netherlands. I really hope that he would have been able to conduct academic archaeological investigations and field surveys with the permit of the Neimegen Municipality in the near future.