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Fire beneath dolmen stone caused costly restoration

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

EMMEN - A local dolmen or hunebed, in the English language also known as a portal tomb, portal grave, or quoit, a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of three or more upright stones supporting large flat horizontal capstones, was damaged last year, when unknown culprits, likely youths, lit a fire underneath and between these huge boulder-like stones. The province of Drenthe is home to several such protected heritage sites. Who would have thought these stones could be damaged so easily? But one did break, resulting in a costly restoration bill of 20,000. Most experts date the dolmen to the early Neolithic period (4000 to 3000 BCE). Dolmens were usually covered with earth or smaller stones to form a barrow, though in many cases that covering has weathered away, leaving only the stone "skeleton" of the burial mound intact.