Eppiesbergje, also known as Eppiesbarchie (and Eppiesbarchien in Flemish), is the largest burial cairn in the Dutch province of Drenthe, and was built during the age of the Single Grave Culture between 2850-2450 BCE as a grave for an important person. This mound lies just over 100 metres north of Odoornerweg, almost exactly mid way between the villages of Odoorn and Valthe. Probably approaching five metres in height, and surrounded by a roundel of mature oak trees, it can be seen from a considerable distance away. The No 28 bus from Emmen station takes you to the village of Valthe; the No 59 likewise to Odoorn: from either village it is little more than a kilometre to walk to Eppiesbergje.
You can view a short YouTube video about Eppiesbergje.
Although originally constructed as a grave for an important person during the age of the Single Grave Culture between 2850-2450 BCE, Eppiesbergje was again used for interments between 1800-1100 BCE during the Middle Bronze Age when a second tomb was built into its side. At the same time, the mound was raised and reinforced with a layer of boulders. Shortly after, a third interment was made, this time in the top of the mound, after which relatives then dug a ditch around it. Today, Eppiesbergje is the sole survivor of a large cemetery that stood here during the New Stone Age, when the mound lay between three similar, older ones, with additionally, hunebedden to its northwest and south. A later addition was a large ‘urnfield’, where cremated remains of the region’s dead were buried in urns, beneath low mounds.
This cemetery was part of a string of burial sites between Emmen and Odoorn, probably following the line of a prehistoric route through this part of Drenthe.
Investigated by archaeologist A E van Giffen in 1935, several finds came to light, including a hammer-axe, a fragment of a bronze needle and, in the ring ditch, two whole urns.
Unfortunately, around 1916, the heath between Exloo and Valthe was ploughed up: and after World War II, other parts of Drenthe rapidly followed suit. Many ancient antiquities were damaged: particularly, many of the barrows located on the moors were damaged or destroyed.
The name Eppiesbergje is believed to derive from that of a former owner of the adjacent land, one Egbert (Eppie) Fox, who was hanged here.