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.

D39, photo by Hans Meijer

Location of D39

D39, map by Hans Meijer

Visit of Professor van Giffen in 1918

It is not apparent from the photo, but Van Giffen wrote: “Although the hunebed is definitely incomplete, lacking as it does the first and third lintels, still it appears mainly to be in a relatively original state”. Certainly, the 2 keystones and 3 pairs of uprights are still there, but they are all but hidden under the remains of the covering mound. Today they are clearly visible. The one preserved lintel rests on the middle pair of uprights. Just like D38, this small monument measuring 4.4 by 2.5 metres has been owned by the State since 1871.
(Source: Atlas of “De Hunebedden in Nederland”, dr.A.E.van Giffen, 1925)

D39, 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

D39 photo by Davado
D39 photo by Davado

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