Hunebed D27 Borger sits in the shade of a small patch of woodland immediately south of the Hunebedcentrum in the attractive village of Borger. With a length of 22.5 metres, this is by far the largest of all the Hunebedden in Drenthe. Essentially complete, it comprises 26 orthostats which support 9 huge capstones, and there are two endstones. There is also a complete entrance portal with its capstone supported on two pairs of sidestones. Originally surrounded by a ring or kerbstones, only two remain.
The dolmen and the Hunebedcentrum together attract over 100,000 visitors annually, and in the holiday season the monument tends to become a climbing area for kids.
In 1695, Titia Brongersma, a poetess from Groningen visited the site and discovered the shattered remains of several pots and a number of bone fragments: alas, all are long since lost, a great pity, because neolithic human remains are exceedingly rare in the Netherlands.
In 1983, a 14-year-old student, René Edens, found human bone fragments beside some decorated potsherds here. On examination, these bones were found to date to the Bronze Age, which suggests that this dolmen was still in use well after the end of the Neolithic Period.
In 2010, the base of the hunebed was scanned by radar, revealing the original clay base still to be intact, and that the main 30 centimetre deep floor above it was still in good condition.
This makes it likely that items such as funnel cups, hand axes and jewellery may remain preserved below the megalith, although there are currently no plans to excavate.
After lunching in a comfy and quirky typically Dutch eetcafe called 't Hunebed in the centre of Borger village, we made our way to the edge of the village to the largest hunebed of the lot – what Julian calls the 'Great Borger Hunebed'. The Rijkshunebed Informatiecentrum is here, too, and sold lots of lovely books and stuff – but not a damn thing in English. Easy to find - just get yourself to Borger (a very pretty town) and follow the signs. Tip: its in the north of the village.
Borger is a monster. Simply huge. Deeply impressive, its giant backbone of capstones all supported, it does feel like a sleeping dinosaur or huge segmented insect larvae. I challenge the most disinterested person not to go 'Ooh!' at this one. It feels slightly soulless to me; though this might be because it is undoubtedly the most visited and exploited.