In the outskirts of Helenaveen, peat cutter Gebbel found the famous golden helmet.
The Peel landscape is breathtaking and enchanting at the same time. You can find the remnants of what was once a vast primeval area of living peat moor. Peat cutter Gebbel found the golden helmet there. Picturesque villages such as Griendstveen and Helenaveen were founded.
Are you familiar with the myth of the knight-errant, the cavalryman who lost the golden helmet? Who was he, where did he come from, what did he come here for and what did his daily life and world look like? The underlying question is of course: How did he end up in the Peel and what was he doing there? Was he in service and was he travelling on duty? Or had he left the army and was returning home or to a piece of land granted him in reward of service?
Golden helmet found more than 100 years ago
17 June 2010 marks the centenary of the find of the 320 A.D. ‘golden helmet of Deurne’ by peat cutter Gebbel Smolenaars, together with remnants of footwear, coins, a cloak pin and pieces of leather. The helmet is an internationally renowned find and is now exhibited at the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden.
An artwork marks the spot at the corner of Oude Peelstraat and Centurioweg where the Roman helmet was found in June 1910. This piece of art was made by Joep Coppens of Vlierden and consists of black tuff stone and patinated bronze. The bottom side has a rim of brick. The monument was unveiled in 1998 near the place where the Roman helmet was found.
I rose from the peat
The tympanum marks the date 21-06-1998 and below, in the beam, it says: E PALUDE EMERGO (I rose from the peat). In the middle is a helmet with a sign underneath stating: In 1910, the helmet of a Roman officer who died approximately in the year 320 was found in this place.