Dolmen D13

Dolmen D13, a stepped grave, is a small dolmen near the village of Eext in the Dutch province of Drenthe.

dolmen d13

Dolmen D13, a stepped grave, is a small dolmen near the village of Eext in the Dutch province of Drenthe. The dolmen is still located in the cover mound, which is exceptional in the Netherlands, and in the vicinity of an urnfield from the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1100-800 BCE).

The dolmen is also called Stemberg (literally Voice Mountain). The story has it that in 1756 (other sources say in 1730 or 1736) a stone lever knocked on the burial mound he found and thought, because of the hollow sound that came when he hit the stone with his pointed iron, that he heard voices. More likely, Stemberg is a corruption of Steenberg (literally Stone Mountain).

It concerns a dolmen of a type of which only a small number is known, mainly located in Germany. The dolmen is 4.3 meters long and 3.2 meters wide. The supporting stones are exceptionally close to each other, hardly any stop stones were needed. The chamber is more or less rectangular.

In the Netherlands, this dolmen is unique, not only because it is still in the original mound, but also because the dolmen could only be entered via a staircase on the south side of the dolmen. Via this stone staircase with four steps and a threshold, the burial vault could be entered.

It is also remarkable that no use has been made of stopping stones, the supporting stones are placed against each other.

During the Renaissance, someone was buried here again, probably a stillborn baby.

The dolmen was discovered in 1736 by a stoneman. The dolmen was damaged by a stone plunger in 1756. The dolmen was restored and described by Johannes van Lier. In 1756 Johannes van Lier examined the grave and wrote about it in his Archaeological Letters with observations and reflections on stratigraphy and finds. The print depicted shows what he thought the dolmen looked like around 1760. Van Lier made drawings of the finds. Van Lier also mentioned pots with burnt bones, but these finds have not been preserved. he also found stone chisels and pottery.

In 1819 Johann Friedrich Heinrich Arends visited Drenthe and described the dolmen in the Kunst- und Wissenschaftsblatt of March 1, 1822, he tells that the cellar had a double bottom of small field boulders, between which were several urns, stone wedges and a stone arrowhead.

In 1848 the three capstones were missing, one of which was found in Eext. The stone served as a bridge. The stone was placed back on the bearing stones in 1976. The other capstone is expected to be in the vicinity of the village church.

In 1885 a Jydepot was excavated, this is a fairly flat and convex bowl of pottery from Denmark from the end of the 16th or 17th century. It was probably a burial of bones. Archaeologist Wijnand van der Sanden describes that unbaptized babies were not allowed to be buried in a cemetery. It could also serve as a sacrifice to the white wives (witte wieven) or comparable supernatural beings.

After the investigation by Johannes van Lier, the dolmen was investigated in 1927 by the archaeologist Albert van Giffen. He describes the dolmen as “in an excellent state”. Johannes van Lier had excavated so precisely that Van Giffen found almost nothing left. In 1984 the dolmen was investigated by J.N. Lanting, his research showed there were no stairs originally. These were added at a later period during the Funnel Beaker culture period.

Robert Dehon of Kadath relates that inscriptions are depicted on the interior walls and ceiling of the dolmen.


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