|The Westerheide, which lies to the immediate northeast of the city of Hilversum, is part of het Gooi Nature Reserve, where some 17 burial mounds can be found. Significant archaeological finds have been made here, some of the earliest around 1855 by Albertus Perk, who examined the mounds, and discovered to his surprise 32 urns. In addition to many pottery shards, Perk also found a pair of bronze bracelets, a fragment of a spiral finger ring and a bronze pin.
To visit on foot, start from Hilersum Media Park railway station. The easiest route follows Johannes Geradtsweg then up Jacob van Campenlaan till it intersects with Erfgooiersstraat (blue marker). Turn left here, and you will see Burial Mounds 8 and 9 just 100 metres farther on, in a woodland clearing at the right-hand side of the road (pink marker). The distance to walk is just 1.9 kilometres each way. The main entrance to the Nature reserve lies a further 40 metres along the road (green marker).
Alternatively, if you start from the main Hilversum railway station, you can take bus No 2 to the Hendrik Smitstraat halt (on the corner with Erfgooierstraat - blue marker). Again, just turn left at the junction, and you will find Burial Mounds 8 and 9 just 100 metres farther on (pink marker).
To visit all the mounds involves a walk of no more than 5 kilometres, and takes just an hour and a half.
The locations of 13 Grave Mounds on the Westerheide are shown on these maps on the website of Museum 'Oer', located in Ulft, Netherlands.
The information board beside Burial Mound No 2 states:
The heaths around Hilversum are rich in archaeological monuments. Urnfields, burial mounds and traces of ancient settlements have been identified in various places. The Westerheide has archaeological monuments like this mound, which were raised to bury the dead, often with multiple interments. The burial mounds date from 2900 - 1100 BCE, the so-called Late Neolithic and Middle Bronze Age.
The burial mounds tell us about the prehistory and human life of the time. This information is irreplaceable, and for this reason it is written into Law that such objects should not be disrupted or altered. Setting foot on them - resulting in erosion and wear and tear - is such a threat.
To counter this, the Gooische Nature Foundation collaborates closely with the Archaeological Monumentwacht to look after the reserve and preserve its cultural history.
Posted by LesHamilton
28th June 2015ce
Edited 27th September 2016ce