For many years the Hunebed Centre has been building its reputation as a centre of knowledge in the fields of archaeology and geology in the Province of Drenthe. This week the centre received recognition as the first museum in Drenthe AND as the first archaeological museum in the Netherlands to become part of the nationwide Network for Scientific Museums and Science Centres.
Harrie Wolters, director of the Hunebed Centre, explains: “The purpose is to make visitors curious, to let them see that hidden behind every museum story and every museum object is a wealth of scientific knowledge, and to show how much science is involved in the work of archaeology and geology”. In order to improve its role as an ‘interpreter’ between science and society, in 2022 the museum signed a co-operative agreement with the Groningen Institute of Archeology at the University of Groningen.
The Hunebed Centre has developed an extensive programme of events, activities and lectures in which the communication of science is the starting point. Visitors learn about the hunebeds, burial mounds, mammoths, erratic boulders and fossils which can all be found in the Hondsrug region. A new club has also been set up for young people where “researchers” between the ages of 6 and 12 years can explore archaeology and similar areas of interest encompassing science in its broadest form.
As part of this scientific network, the Hunebed Centre now belongs to a growing number of Dutch museums with a scientific basis spreading this important message. The network currently has more than 40 members including the well-known and popular Naturalis, Artis, NEMO, Eise Eisinga Planetarium and the National Railway Museum. Says Harrie Wolters: “We are delighted to become part of this new national initiative which will also serve to expand our own network”.