The province of Drenthe is well known for its hunebedden, the ancient stone dolmens scattered across the region. But now, the Hunebedcentrum in Borger is looking for the fakes: the museum wants to create an inventory of all the not-quite-dolmens out there.
Translation by Hans de Preter
Many fake dolmens have been built in the last decades, as a bike ride or drive through the province quickly reveals: some times, the bolder piles are in the same scale as the real thing, but miniature versions can also be spotted in people’s back gardens. The museum in Borger wants to see them all and is seeking photos and stories in order to map out just how far the phenomenon of non-dolmens goes.
According to the Ter Apeler Courant, the Dolmen center (Hunebedcentrum) in Borger is curious to learn what inspired the replica makers: “We would like to show how many of these fake dolmens there actually are and especially hear the stories behind them”.
The Hunebedcentrum believes that Drents identity plays a role, but they also suspect that the trend is not limited to the provincial borders. “It could also be that fake hunebeds have been built outside of Drenthe, we don’t know. We are asking everyone who knows a fake hunebed to help us.”
What are dolmens?
The structures of dolmen differ around the world, but most of them consist of large stones on the ground that have other stones piled on top of them. The majority of the stone sites are believed to date back to the Neolithic era (4,000 to 3,000 B.C.E.). The Dutch and German names for the dolmen refer to the stones being put in place by giants, which is also a popular folk theory behind similar stones in the Basque country in Spain.
The Drenthe dolmens are some of the most popular tourist attractions in the province, and visitors can follow a 48.6 kilometre-long cycling route through Drenthe to visit dozens of the Neolithic sites. Many of them are clustered along the Hondsrug, a ridge of sand that runs through Drenthe and Groningen.
If you happen to have a (fake) hunebed in your home garden, or know one somewhere in your area, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo source: Hunebedcentrum Borger