This hunebed could best be described as a pile of debris. During the last century cultural barbarians caused a lot of damage here. D31 must have been excavated around 1820, and in 1822 it was described as: “an excellent and well-preserved hunebed characterised by 5 fine lintels resting neatly on their uprights”. All that now remain are six uprights, two keystones and one lintel which has fallen into the chamber. The locations of the two missing uprights and both portal uprights are shown by markers. The outline of the original covering mound can still be seen. The hunebed stands in a dip on top of the mound.
The hunebed stands somewhat hidden in the woods. Anyone who wants to take the trouble to find it can go 1.5 km south from Exloo on the road to Valthe and turn left on a cobbled road into the Hunzebos. After 400 metres the hunebed is on the right at the end of a short woodland path. It is easy to drive straight past it.

D31, photo by Hans Meijer

Location of D31

D31, map by Hans Meijer

Visit of Professor van Giffen in 1918

This miserable example of a hunebed remains just about the same as it was when Van Giffen saw it in 1918: “in a very sorry state and so ruined as to be unrecognisable”. He identified 1 lintel and 2 uprights, the remaining 5 boulders being, in his words “of an indeterminate character”. The circular foot of the original covering mound was however still recognisable. In 1847 the village elders of Exloo offered this ruined monument free of charge to the Province.
(Source: Atlas of “De Hunebedden in Nederland”, dr.A.E.van Giffen, 1925)

D31, Source: Atlas of “De Hunebedden in Nederland”, dr.A.E.van Giffen, 1925)

For more information about this and other hunebeds in Drenthe see and

Text Hans Meijer
Translation Alun Harvey
Photography Hans Meijer and Davado

D31 Photo by Davado


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