Visited: July 12, 2014
On the outskirts of the Drenthe village of Havelte, better known for its two hunebedden, lies Eupen Barchien, a Middle Bronze Age (ca. 1400 BCE) burial mound. It lies to the east of the road connecting Havelte with the village of Uffelte to its northeast. The mound was originally raised as the burial place of an important member of the community, and it continued in use for other family members in later years.
The mound was thoroughly investigated by archaeologist A E van Giffen in 1946. During his excavations, the remains of two bodies were found, lying on the original ground level, and covered by sand and turf. Further burials, lying in wooden kists, were located in the flanks of the hill, around which was an incomplete ring of stones marking the boundary of the grave. In addition, a bronze chisel was found. Following the excavation, the mound was restored.
In mediaeval times, local legend claimed that the mound was haunted, and although there was allegedly buried treasure within it, no-one ever dared to dig into it.
I visited Eupen Barchien as an addendum to an expedition to the two Havelte hunebedden, D53 and D54. It proved rather tricky to find, even though I knew almost exactly where it lay: just south of a farmhouse, within a 50 metre wide belt of trees to the east of Uffelterkerkweg and Havelte Golf Course.
I was anticipating a significant mound: something not easily missed. But for quite a while I searched for it in vain. Your best guide is the obvious dirt road serving the farm, which heads into the trees (blue marker in the map below).
I finally came across it, almost by chance, lying just to the right of this track, some 30-40 metres along it (red marker). The appearance of Eupen Barchien is of a broad, grassy clearing between the trees—almost insignificant, and rising to little more than one metre at its centre. The only indication of its presence is a short wooden pillar bearing a plate stating that it is a grave mound and an archaeological monument. There is no name board stating 'Eupen Barchien', nor any direction sign towards it.
The grave lies a little outside Havelte. To get there, follow the red line on the map below, which starts at the 'Centrum' bus stop, and guides you to the dirt road mentioned previously, which starts at the blue marker (the distance there and back is 5.5 kilometres). The upper map zooms in to show detail of the immediate environs of Eupen Barchien and the nearby farmhouse.
Posted by LesHamilton
16th July 2014ce
Edited 30th July 2014ce