Destroyed & destructed : a multidisciplinary study of drowned Coxyde

de Ruijsscher, D. (2019). Destroyed & destructed : a multidisciplinary study of drowned Coxyde. REVUE BELGE DE PHILOLOGIE ET D HISTOIRE97(4), 1101–1120.


The village of Coxyde, coinciding with the parish of Beniardskerke, was situated on the south bank of the eastern branch of the Zwin tidal inlet, in nowadays West Zeelandic Flanders. It is certain that the parish of Beniardskerke originated in the High Middle Ages. The harbour of Coxyde joined the economic success of Bruges and its outports during the Late Medieval Period. Due to a combination of economic decline, political jousting and the consequences of revolt and war the village shrank during the 15th and 16th centuries. Coxyde eventually disappeared from the landscape because of the inundation of the region during the Eighty Years’ War, making it one of the so-called drowned villages of Zeeland. Thanks to an interdisciplinary research, combining historical sources, remote sensing techniques and archaeological fieldwalking it was possible to trace back the exact location of individual landscape features of the village and reveal the main lines of its socio-economic and topographical development.