One of the attractions of going to the Netherlands to facilitate crystal workshops was the promise of visiting ‘the hunebeds, our local sacred sites.’ We were two hours north of Amsterdam in Drenthe, an area I’d never thought of in connection with passage-grave constructions. But there they were, all 54 of them although we only had time to visit a few.
The hunebeds were constructed over 5000 years old ago by Neolithic farmers, before Stonehenge or the pyramids were thought of. Built from huge granite boulders, some of which weigh over 25,000 kilograms. The massive stones had travelled from Scandinavia on glaciers around 200,000 years ago. What we see today is only a fraction of the upright stone as the rest is buried deep in the sandy soil. Originally they were turfed over, much as the long barrows in England, Ireland and elsewhere were constructed.
Hune is the Dutch word for giants and for many centuries it was believed that these constructions were made by a race of giants. As with all such structures, I’m not entirely sure ‘passage-grave’ is the right term. They may have been utilised as such later in their existence, but they have a feeling of a megalithic intergalactic time-portal, rather like the stone sarcophagus in the Great Pyramid or the centre of Newgrange (you can learn more about that in Crystals and Sacred Sites.)
I couldn’t resist sharing this from a research textbook I found online:
Giants building a hunebed, while normally sized men are contemplatively looking on (Picardt 1660, print facing p. 33, probably by P. Holsteijn II) (photograph Sidestone Press). ‘Megalithic Research in the Netherlands, 1547-1911 From ‘Giant’s Beds’ and ‘Pillars of Hercules’ to accurate investigations’ by Jan Albert Bakker.
I was fascinated to discover that, among the grave goods excavated from the hunebeds, in addition to flint artefacts were jet and amber beads. Note how tiny some of the beads are, incredibly delicate workmanship for so long ago.
I simply had to build my own ‘giant’s bed’ with stones found under the various hunebeds, there’s an amazing array of types, as you can see. A miniature portal? I shall report back in due course!
You’ll find more pictures from our Netherlands trip on my crystal community: http://www.judyhall.co.uk/gallery/netherlands-trip
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