Until recently, most archaeologists assumed that human occupation of the Dutch river area in the Neolithic period and Bronze Age was rare and predominantly seasonal. Settlement and land use were thought to be limited to abandoned alluvial ridges and aeolian dunes. However, recent archaeological research revealed that Neolithic and Bronze Age human activity occurred at many locations in the Rhine-Meuse Delta. Human settlement and agricultural land use in the Rhine-Meuse delta from at least 3200 BC to 1100 AD was much more common than previously thought. Crevasse splay complexes of active and abandoned river systems proved to have provided favourable sites for settlements. These elevated areas were suitable for agriculture, as they were fertile, easy to plough and possessed suitable hydrological conditions. In addition, people could exploit the surrounding floodplain for hunting, fishing or herding their cattle. Furthermore, the river or residual river channel was near for transport.
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