Reconfiguring Diaspora: The Transformation of the Jewish Diaspora in Antiquity

Abstract: Lisya Bicaci

The Future of the Past: Stone Grave Markers – Degradation Phenomena and Conservation Challenges

Lisya Bicaci, Technische Universiteit Delft


This lecture begins with a short overview of heritage values, and by highlighting the geographical distribution of Jewish cemeteries in the Netherlands. Next, the current situation in preservation and maintenance of Jewish cemeteries will be elucidated. Correlating factors that lead to degradation are defined, followed by a brief overview of practical geology, that is to say, classification of stones and their properties in relation to degradation. However, since it is impossible to mention all stones, the lecture will concentrate on stones that are often encountered in Jewish cemeteries in the Netherlands. Within the frame of preparation for this lecture, I have been visiting several Jewish cemeteries. By virtual exploring some of these we will discuss examples of different degradation phenomena. Finally, one of the many interviews I have conducted is processed in a short film, which can be viewed in the link below.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bart Schuurman en Bart Voorzanger for their kind assistance in providing valuable information about the Jewish Cemetery Zeeburg in Amsterdam.

A short video on Jewish cemeteries in the Netherlands:


1. and 2. Tombstones from the Jewish cemetery in Oudekerk aan de Amstel display red staining by biological contamination and erosion of the marble surface.


3. (below) A concrete gravestone from Toepad Rotterdam. The material selection, production method and lack of maintenance lead to decay.4. The Jewish cemetery in Zeeburg, Amsterdam. Left to vanish: a legitimate choice?