Dolmen D51

Hunebed D51 is a prehistoric megalithic tomb located in the province of Drenthe in the northeastern part of the Netherlands.

Dolmen D51

Hunebed D51 is a prehistoric megalithic tomb located in the province of Drenthe in the northeastern part of the Netherlands. It is one of the smaller hunebeds in the country and is estimated to be over 5,000 years old, dating back to the Funnelbeaker culture.

The hunebed consists of 4 large upright stones, or orthostats, which support 2 capstones. The entire structure is approximately 6 meters long and 2 meters wide. The capstones, which weigh several tons each, were transported from as far as 10 kilometers away and placed on top of the upright stones to create a roofed burial chamber.

Excavations of the burial chamber revealed the remains of several individuals, along with several artifacts including pottery, flint knives, and arrowheads. These findings suggest that the hunebed was used as a communal burial site for a small agricultural community.

Hunebed D51 is located near the village of Borger and is open to the public year-round. It is a popular tourist attraction and is considered a national monument of the Netherlands.

Hunebed D51 is part of a larger group of hunebeds that are scattered throughout the province of Drenthe. These hunebeds were built during the Neolithic period, between 3400 and 2850 BC, and were used as tombs for the dead.

The construction of hunebeds was an impressive feat of engineering for the time. The builders used stone tools and wooden levers to move the enormous boulders that make up the orthostats and capstones. The builders would have also had to create a level surface for the hunebed, as well as a ramp to transport the heavy stones.

The hunebeds were constructed by the Funnelbeaker culture, a group of early farmers who lived in the region during the Neolithic period. They are named after their distinctive pottery, which has a funnel-like shape.

The Funnelbeaker people were skilled farmers and lived in small communities. They built their homes out of wood and thatch and kept domesticated animals, such as cattle and pigs. They also grew crops such as wheat and barley.

The hunebeds were used as communal burial sites for the Funnelbeaker people. The bodies of the deceased were placed in the burial chamber, along with offerings such as pottery, flint knives, and arrowheads. It is thought that the bodies were left to decompose before the bones were removed and placed in the side chambers of the hunebed.

The hunebeds were in use for several hundred years before falling out of use. It is thought that changes in burial customs, such as cremation, led to the decline of the hunebeds.

In the centuries that followed, the hunebeds were largely forgotten and were used for other purposes, such as as sources of building material for local construction projects. It was not until the 19th century that the hunebeds were recognized as important archaeological sites.

Today, the hunebeds are protected as national monuments and are popular tourist attractions. Visitors can explore the burial chambers and learn about the history and culture of the Funnelbeaker people.

Hunebed D51 is located in a picturesque area of the Netherlands, with rolling hills and fields of crops. It is surrounded by a small park, with picnic tables and benches for visitors to use. There is also a small museum on the site, which displays artifacts from the hunebed and provides information about the Funnelbeaker culture.

  • References

    image via https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hunebed_D51_bij_Noord-Sleen.jpg

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