In 2015 the Hunebed Centre launched a new initiative – a blog/information website called the Hunebednieuwscafe. The site quickly proved to be very popular, not only with readers but also with writers, and the number of new authors and articles increased rapidly.
Ever since the beginning the topics have been very varied, while always covering themes broadly related to the specialist areas of the Hunebed Centre – dolmens and prehistory. Naturally many of the early articles were about the Dutch hunebeds but topics now range from archaeology, the Ice Ages and the geology of erratic boulders to nature, art, other museums, news items and even prehistoric cookery. To make searching easier, new thematic headings have been introduced for areas of specialist interest, such as Myths and Legends, German Hunebeds and English Articles.
The blog site has also introduced readers to dolmens in other lands all over the world and the cultures who built them. As a result it was decided to pinpoint the locations on a map, using Google Maps, and this has now evolved into a sort of prehistoric travel guide. Readers interested in a particular country or area can quickly home in using the interactive maps on the website.
After 7 years the website now consists of a library of over 5,000 articles, contributed by almost 50 authors. The site, which is free to access, has more than 1,000 subscribers and almost half a million unique site visitors every year. That makes it one of the largest archaeological websites in the Netherlands.
The number of articles will certainly increase in the coming years and a new layout for the site is currently being developed. New ideas for the future include podcasts or occasional live versions in which authors tell their stories to an audience.
Text Harrie Wolters
Translation Alun Harvey