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Texel became an island in 1170 when it was separated from the mainland in the All Saints Flood. The landscape in Texel is very different from that of the other Wadden Islands. They consist mainly of sand and dune area. A thick boulder clay layer was left on Texel after the ice age, making the soil far more fertile and allowing the land to develop differently.
Ice ages and warmer periods alternated during the geological epoch of the Pleistocene. During one of these glacial periods – the Saalian - Twente, Zuid Drenthe, Zuid Friesland, Wieringen and Texel were all covered with land ice, originating from Scandinavia.
The boulder clay that came along with the land ice was propelled by the ice and remained in place after the glacial period ended. The “Hoge Berg” (meaning high mountain) is the most obvious example of such an occurrence. You will find many boulders in the soil in this area.
In the Weichselian glacial period, the ice did not reach the Netherlands but the climate was abominable. Large quantities of material were deposited on the ground. In the next period – the Holocene – the lower layers between the boulder clay deposits and the propelled surface sand were filled with sea clay. This oldest part of Texel, as we know it today, generally consists of the area between Den Hoorn, Den Burg, Hoge Berg, De Waal and Oosterend. This area is still called Texel’s 'Old land'.
Flints and tools were found during excavations, which suggest the human habitation of Texel as early as during the Mesolithic epoch (8000 – 4500 B.C.). Presumably these were hunters who were temporarily active in the area. Permanent inhabitants were very likely on the island during the Middle Bronze Age, around 1000 B.C. The remains of burial mounds found in Den Burg suggest this to be the case. Texel reached its current size, only in the 16th century, thanks to the reclamation of Eijerland.
Eijerland or Eyerland, now known as Eierland, was attached to Vlieland until the 13th century. Through the formation of the ‘Eierlandse Gat’ (hole of Eierland), Eierland became an independent island and in 1835 Eierland and Texel were joined together through the silting of the Anegat. A sand dike was constructed on this sand bar.
Curious about the Texel in ancient times? Then visit one of the museums of Texel. Interesting components of Texel’s history can be seen here.