A construction project in the Dutch capital has led to hundreds of thousands of artefacts being dug up – and they have now gone on display

Canals have long offered a fine place to lose things – shopping trollies, love tokens, drowned kittens, all the unwanted objects and dark secrets many hoped would never be found, slipped into their still, dark depths.

But in Amsterdam, some of those long-forgotten artefacts have found themselves exposed. In 2003, the city began the process of draining and excavating two of its canal riverbeds for the construction of its new metro line. The Damrak and the Rokin were once busy stretches of the Amstel River, though for many years now both have been filled in, repurposed as two of the city’s main thoroughfares.

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