The Hunebedden are a cultural emblem of the province of Drenthe located in the Netherlands. It is believed that they were created five thousand years ago by the peasant tribes.
There are fifty-four of these graves which have withstood the tests of time including climatic, environmental and human changes. The Hunebedden are made from enormous and solid stones. The stones are believed to have been left behind after the penultimate ice age and are approximately weighing up to forty tons each.
In Dutch history, the Hunebedden are claimed to have been made in the Funnel Beaker culture. The tombs extend up to one hundred and sixty feet, fifty metres in length.
The other remains include collared flasks, buckets and bowls. They are specifically decorated with horizontal and vertical grooves while some are polished stones and flint tools.
Here are the top 10 Outstanding Facts about Hunebedden, Netherlands:
1. They are the Oldest Monuments in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is known as the cradle of mankind as some early people’s remains were found here. Several historic monuments are found in the Netherlands among them being the Hunebedden.
They are the oldest monuments and prehistoric sites which were built by the people of the Funnel Beaker culture. Hunebeds are believed to have lived in this location between 3400 and 2850 BC. They are the passage graves or dolmens.
2. Local People thought Hunebedden were Made by Giants
There have been several stories about the Hunebedden found in the Netherlands. These massive monuments have created several legends and stories of their origin.
Several years ago, local people in the Netherlands thought that these monuments could have been made by a race of giants. These giants were called the human which derived the name Hunebedden.
However, the archaeologists finally discovered that the Hunebedden were made by the Funnel Beaker culture people. With the artefacts that were found here, the legends came to pass as false.
3. Flint Tools and Polished Stone Artefacts were found at the Hunebedden
During archaeological research in recent years, several early man artefacts were discovered in the monumental Hunebedden. Some of these artefacts gave a picture of the type of people who lived around and used the Hunebedden.
Polished stones and flint tools artefacts were discovered at the Hunebedden. The Hunebedden builders are believed to be the first farmers in Northern Europe. The flint tools were distinctively made in shaped earthenware pottery and decorated with incised patterns.
4. Pottery Shards were Discovered in the Hunebedden
Archaeological research has been made over the years in the Hunebedden. Several artefacts have been excavated from the Hunebedden.
The major components or items found in the Hunebeds mainly consisted of pottery shards. The number of the pottery shards excavated varied from each Hunebedden.
Some of them contained several pottery shards which could get to 600 pots while some never had any. Distinctive funnel beakers, spoons with concave handles, collared flasks, shoulder flasks, dishes and urns were found in the Hunebeds.
5. No Human Bones have been found in any Hunebedden
Several excavations have been made in these Hunebedden over the years to aid in historic studies. These monuments are believed to have been final burial places for the builders.
However, with all the archaeological research, there are no human bones excavated from any of these Hunebedden. The remains of burnt skeletons have been found preserved here.
Archaeologists believe that dozens of people were buried in these graves. The majority were given their burials with some of their properties which have been excavated.
6. Most Hunebeds are Unprotected and Tourists Visits Freely
Previously, the Hunebeds were special and were sealed off from getting accessed by locals and tourists from abroad. As years went by, most hunebeds are not protected by the government.
These unprotected hunebeds are in the countryside. Visitors and tourists have free access to these monuments without paying anything.
Some of them became regular as they were certainly robbed by the people. Several are grass-covered and sealed off by concrete blocks.
7. No Further Excavations are being made in the Hunebeds
The Hunebeds were of interest in the early 19th and 20th centuries as several archaeologists wanted to take part in the excavations and discover more. However, experts have become reluctant to continue with their excavations.
There are two reasons why experts are not continuing with their excavations. One of them is that they felt like enough information has already been revealed.
The second reason is that there is freight that the excavations might cause some unavoidable damage to the original sites. However, there is hope that there might be future excavations and discoveries of what has never been unveiled.
8. Hunebedden Museum was Established to Preserve Hunebeds Artefacts
With the large number of artefacts being excavated, there was the need to create a preserving centre. The Hunebed Centre in Borger was established to preserve the history and culture of the Funnel Beaker.
This centre has a special function as a museum, educational centre and an open-air park. Various artefacts which are polished well are displayed here in a magnificent way.
School groups from the Netherlands and across the world usually tour this centre to learn more. Some of the monuments are outside this centre.
9. The Largest Hunebed Weighs about 20,000 Kilos
There are several Hunebeds across the Netherlands which are historic monuments. Some are huge and serve as tourist attraction sites.
Next to the Borger centre of hunebedden is the largest Hunebed in the Netherlands. This hunebed is 22.6 metres long and boasts of nine capstones, twenty-eight uprights, five gate posts and two kerb stones. This contains the largest Dutch hunebed which ways approximately twenty thousand kilos.
10. More than 200,000 Tourists Visit and View the Hunebeds
The giant hunebeds have been a massive tourist attraction centre for people from overseas and around the Netherlands. The huge and small monuments are explored every season of the year.
It is approximated that more than two hundred thousand visitors frequent this area to have a view of these historical sites. With some of the Hunebedden being free sites to view, more visitors are expected to visit these areas and have their experiences too.
Hunebedden will always be regarded as one of the best archaeological sites in the Netherlands that displays the history of mankind.