Dolmen D53

Hunebed D53 is a megalithic tomb located in the Dutch province of Drenthe.

Dolmen D53

Dolmen D53 is a megalithic tomb located in the province of Drenthe in the northeastern part of the Netherlands. It is part of a larger collection of prehistoric burial mounds known as dolmens, and is estimated to be around 5,000 years old, dating back to the Funnel beaker culture of the Neolithic period.

The dolmen consists of six large upright stones, or orthostats, which support two capstones. The entire structure is approximately 8.5 meters long and 3 meters wide. The capstones, which weigh several tons each, were transported from as far as 25 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 such as pottery, flint knives, and arrowheads. These findings suggest that the dolmen was used as a communal burial site for a small agricultural community.

The construction of dolmens like D53 required a significant amount of engineering skill and organization. The builders would have had to transport the massive stones from quarries located miles away, using primitive tools and techniques. They would have also had to create a level surface for the hunebed, as well as a ramp to transport the heavy stones.

The Funnel beaker culture, who built the dolmens, were an early farming society who lived in the region during the Neolithic period. They were skilled farmers who lived in small communities, growing crops such as wheat and barley and raising domesticated animals like cattle and pigs. Their distinctive pottery, which has a funnel-like shape, gives the culture its name.

The dolmens were used as communal burial sites for the Funnel beaker 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 dolmen.

The dolmens 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 dolmens.

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

Today, the dolmens 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 Funnel beaker people.

Dolmen D53 is located near the village of Rolde and is open to the public year-round. It is situated in a picturesque setting and is surrounded by walking trails and other recreational opportunities.

  • References

    image via


Other places in Netherlands