Dutch inventions dating 17th century

A look into the long Dutch tradition of dike building gives us insight on a deeply rooted culture of trial and error in a country where the sea level rises and the ground level is dropping.History shows that either a big flood or a tiny worm, but also national welfare can lead to big consequences and shifts in the flood protection system.Once again settlements were formed in the salt marshes, which abounded in fish and in grazing pastures for livestock.On a small scale, streams were dammed and low dikes built, following the contours of the existing differences in elevation.It was seen as divine punishment: God was visiting his wrath on the decadence of the Golden Age.In reaction to this plague, feverish efforts were made to find alternative materials and designs in the dike profile.In the end, the calamity provided a major impulse to the modernization of the dikes and dike management.

This mollusc, Teredo navalis, thrived in the climate of the Low Countries, and rapidly proliferated.

The North Sea Flood claimed more than 1,800 lives and caused immense damage.

An area measuring some 1,650 square kilometres of land was flooded.

In addition, a great many dolmens or hunebedden were demolished to reinforce the coastal defences.

From 1900 onwards, materials such as concrete blocks were developed, mass-produced and transported in large numbers.

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The North Sea Flood provided an impetus for a large number of new hydraulic works: the Delta Plan.

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