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Treasures from the Cesspit

8 September 2015 until 17 March 2018

A presentation of Treasures from the Cesspit features a selection of items found in 2013 while work proceeded on the foundations. A cesspit is a hole in the ground where people deposit waste and refuse. The finds recovered from this pit date roughly from the years 1650 to 1800. Among the unique pieces retrieved are Delftware pottery, glass and Chinese porcelain shipped to Amsterdam by the Dutch East India Company (VOC ). Part of the museum extension project involves the renovation of the foundations of the three museum houses: the main building on the corner and the two behind it. When excavation work began in 2013, Amsterdam?s Historical Buildings and Archaeology department (BMA) investigated the terrain and found the cesspit with its horde of food remains and ceramic and glass objects. The finds provide a tangible impression of the everyday life of the people who used the house and lived here in the eighteenth century. In the old kitchen of the house in the alley the old toilet can still be seen - the privy as it was called - which was directly connected to the cesspit. An animation film shows how a cesspit functions. Check it out below.