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Nehalennia

In Roman times, traders pledged large gifts – statues, altars – to a mysterious goddess, Nehalennia, to secure safe passage across the sea to Brittania for their ships and cargos. Many of these altars were found in what today is the Scheldt area.

The ruins of a temple dedicated to the goddess were discovered at Domburg and remains of a second lie beneath the waters at Colijnsplaat. Of Celtic or Germanic origin, Nehalennia must have been worshipped hundreds of years before the arrival of Caesar and his legions in 58 BC, and people continued to offer gifts to her right until the end of Roman occupation of the northernmost part of the empire, around 300 AD. Her attributes include apples, a fruit basket and a horn of plenty, which suggest that she may have been a fertility goddess in earlier times. Inspired by Nehalennia’s connection with the sea and the sunken legacy of her cult, Rem made a series of photographs that focus on the restless waters.