About the book
In 2020, the exploitation of limestone ceased in the ENCI quarry. A historical moment, especially considering that limestone has been mined for 2500 years in South Limburg. From 1925 onwards, exploitation was increased and the extracted limestone was turned into cement: a process in which a lot of CO2 was released into the atmosphere. The ENCI quarry was a special place for archaeological and paleontological research. Fossils in this area are especially well preserved due to the soft limestone.
In the spring of 2021, Deep Time Agency traveled to various archaeology museums in the Netherlands in order to retrace fossils that originate from the ENCI quarry. These were documented using scientific drawings, which were then used to replicate the fossils, using marl and cement quarried from the ENCI area. By doing so, we used the last bags of the ENCI cement from the quarry in Maastricht in a ceremonial way. During a workshop in the quarry, students from the Maastricht Institute of Arts helped create replicas of these fossils that were then brought together in a sculpture. Inspired by a star constellation, the sculpture referred to the name that the coral fossils from this area acquired during medieval times: star-stones. At the bottom of the ENCI lake, the sculpture will function as an artificial reef, creating a new habitat and benefiting new lifeforms in the post-modern environment. This lovely publication is an in-depth summary, bringing together the steps and reflections which stem from this project.
“Our hope is that in the long term, our project will promote the growth of new ecosystems, closing the cycle of this landscape and forming an ecological gesture towards the future.”
About the artists
In 2020, visual artists Miriam Sentler (1994, DE/NL) and Wouter Osterholt (NL/DE, 1979, NL/DE) set up an interdisciplinary research initiative: Deep Time Agency.
Deep Time Agency is an artistic research initiative that recontextualises archaeological objects in industrially changed landscapes. By highlighting objects exposed by industrial excavations, we seek to develop a sense of belonging in the disrupted landscapes themselves and in the Anthropocene era.