Dikes, especially sea dikes, are coastal constructions build to avoid flooding. The risk of flooding is detrimental to the safety of people and economic, cultural, and ecological values. This aspect has been of great importance since people first thought about defending their dwellings against flood hazards. In the distant past, dwelling mounts were built to protect families or small communities from the sea. They are known from several low-lying coastal areas in the world, for example, from the North coast of Germany and the adjacent Dutch coast, where they have been occupied ever since 2500 bp, as well as from the chenier coast of Suriname, where they date back to 1800 bp.
Population increase urged to a more active method of flood prevention. The people started to construct dikes to keep the water out of whole regions, thus protecting lives and properties against the sea. In the Netherlands, dikes have been built as a community activity from about ad1100. Ever since,...
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