Schokland has been inhabited for thousands of years, yet it has never been easy on its residents. This former island in the Zuiderzee has burdened its people with swampy lands and floods since the first nomads began to call the area their home in 4500BC. “Schokland is symbolic for the struggle between the Dutch and water,” begins Henk Kloosterman, conservator at the museum. “People in the Netherlands have always been adapting to the water – before they started to take matters into their own hands.” Schokland was eventually evacuated in 1859 due to the danger of flooding, and only became inhabitable again in 1942 when the Noordoostpolder was formed (ironically, after 1859, Schokland never flooded again).

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