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Yerseke

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Yerseke is a village situated on the southern shore of the Oosterschelde (Eastern Scheldt) estuary in the Dutch province of Zeeland. A separate municipality until 1970, it today forms part of the municipality of Reimerswaal. As of 2010 Yerseke had a recorded population of 6,570 inhabitants divided over 2590 households.The fishing village is well known for its aquaculture. Tourists visit the oyster pits, harbours and museum of the town and fishing industry, as well as the annual celebration of the mussel harvest in August. The village furthermore plays host to the Dutch Institute for Ecology (NIOO).HistoryThe site of Yerseke may have been inhabited for more than a millennium, and possibly since before the early Middle Ages. Skeletal remains found in 1923 during an archaeological dig were dated to the Carolingian period (7th to 9th centuries).However, the first historical mention of Yerseke most likely dates to a deed, or charter, issued on January 24, 966 AD under the name of ‘Gersika’ by the Holy Roman Emperor Otto I (the Great). The area was originally property of abbeys in Flanders. The town was founded on an elevated ridge as the area (like many settlements of that era) as dikes were only built in the 13th century by monks. The earliest inhabitants practiced sheep husbandry and later extracted peat from surrounding moors when dikes were constructed.Agriculture remained the primary activity of the town until the 16th century, when the Saint Felix flood inundated large parts of land around the now lost trading city of Reimerswaal to the east. As a result, Yerseke turned from a landlocked village into one located along the shores of the Eastern Scheldt, which would shape much of its future.
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