The village of Eext, in the local authority area of Aa en Hunze, is home to a number of hunebeds. One of the finest – and also among the largest of all hunebeds – is D14. The hunebed is still fairly complete and intact with 6 lintels resting on their uprights. There are two or perhaps three stones missing, of which several broken pieces lie inside the tomb. These bear traces of boreholes for the dynamite with which they were split. The 18 upright side-stones and 2 keystones are complete. However it is clear that some tricks must have been used during restoration in the past. For instance, the easternmost lintel has long been supported by a masonry pillar. At the end of 1996 this was replaced by a stainless-steel pin.

Three portal stones (or gateposts) and 8 ring stones are also still present. The quite extensive surrounding area was spared during the land reallocation programme and it forms an island in the otherwise cultivated farmland. The hunebed can easily be reached from the paved road via a large parking area. Information panels stand by the car park and next to the hunebed. The name board was removed, stone and all, around 1998 but was not lost. It was safely stored by the Province.

Map of Eext. Three hunebeds stand close to each other. Map by Hans Meijer

Traces of boreholes can still clearly be seen, with which to break the stones into smaller pieces to make them easier to carry away for use in road-building or to strengthen dykes. Fortunately almost all of the stones still remain in place.

Visit Prof. Van Giffen in 1918

At the beginning of the last century the famous archaeologist Dr. A.E.van Giffen visited the hunebed. Although he reported that it was “disturbed and incomplete”, Van Giffen was able to form a good idea of the original state of this large hunebed. Despite 2 of the original 9 lintels being missing and a third stone being split by explosives (the boreholes can still be seen), all 20 side- and keystones were not only still present but in situ (in their original place). The same applied to the 2 portal stones and 8 surrounding ring stones. Furthermore, the contours of the covering mound could still be distinguished. In 1871 ownership of this magnificent monument was transferred as a free gift to the Province of Drenthe.

(Soure: Atlas of “De Hunebedden in Nederland”, by Dr.A.E.van Giffen, 1925)

Source A.E. van Giffen, De hunebedden in Nederland, Utrecht 1925-1927, fig. D14

For more information about this and other hunebeds in Drenthe see http://www.hunebedden.nl/frntpage.htm .

Also (in Dutch only) at www.hunebeddeninfo.nl

Text: Hans Meijer
Photos: Harrie Wolters

Translation: Alun Harvey

D14 on old postcards

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