D38 forms, together with D39 and D40, a trio of hunebeds standing just north of Emmen on a heathfield in the Valtherbos. Although the sandy paths leading both from Valthe and from Emmen are passable in a car, you may well get a fine as the woods are designated as a walking and cycling area. It is better to take the excellent asphalt cycle path leading to the hunebeds. D38 (the most northerly) does not have much to offer. Originally it was a medium-sized hunebed with 5 lintels. Now only 2 remain and these have slipped off their uprights and lie partly on the ground. The 11 uprights and keystones have almost disappeared under the sand. However, the shape of the original mound can still be recognised.
D39, 25 metres away from D38, is surrounded by a circular wall of sand, the remains of the original earth mound. The 8 uprights and keystones are all still there but lie deep in the sand. One quite flat lintel lies on its uprights, and once there must have been three. So it was always a small tomb.
Location of D38
Visit of Professor van Giffen in 1918
“The hunebed is incomplete and in a collapsed state” reported Van Giffen. The original condition was still recognisable. The 2 keystones and 9 uprights were still there and more or less in place, so that he could measure the length (8 m), the width (3 m) and the orientation. The 2 preserved lintels lie on the chamber floor, leaning against one of the uprights. The remains of the covering mound could still be seen. The condition today has not changed, only the surroundings look a little less bare. The hunebed was bought by the State from a private owner in 1871.
(Source: Atlas of “De Hunebedden in Nederland”, dr.A.E.van Giffen, 1925)
For more information about this and other hunebeds in Drenthe see
www.hunebedden.nl and www.hunebeddeninfo.nl
Text Hans Meijer
Translation Alun Harvey
Photography Hans Meijer and Davado