The Dutch town of Middenbeemster was established in the early 17th century upon land reclaimed after a series of lakes were drained. In 1623 the colonizing farming community built a church and adjacent graveyard that was used until 1868. Excavation has revealed over 450 burials of all ages, with a large number of neonates and infants. Dr. Waters-Rist will use a full complement of osteoarchaeological methods to answer questions about the demography, diet, activity, and health of this colonizing community – thus, reconstructing their lifeways. Methods will involve 1) macroscopic analyses of bones and teeth, to determine sex, age, stature, activity-patterns, and disease state, and 2) chemical analyses of small tissue samples to determine diet and mobility. The interpretation of results will be aided by archival materials such as birth and death registries, with information on the occupation of the deceased. Historical data and epidemiological reconstructions of infectious diseases will be used to assess the impact of epidemics on the Beemster population. Overall, Dr. Waters-Rist analysis of the Middenbeemster cemetery presents an extraordinary opportunity to produce a diachronic reconstruction of a rural farming community during a tumultuous span of time when various climatic, economic, and political events had great impact on peoples in the Netherlands.