Een oude merrie uit een Friese terp


  • Egge Knol
  • Wietske Prummel
  • Annet Nieuwhof
  • Hans van der Plicht


An old female horse from a Frisian terp. The skeleton of a moderately tall (height at the withers ca. 137 cm) mare from a presumably Frisian terp, now in the collection of the Fries Landbouwmuseum in Eernewoude (province of Friesland), was a part of an exhibition in the Groninger Museum in 2013-2014. The horse was 14C-dated, with the calibrated result of 187 BC - AD 25. The age of death of the mare was between 22-23 years. She was not butchered, nor had the skin been removed. A special relationship obviously existed between the mare and her owner(s), which is evident due to the careful manner in which she was buried. The same manner of burial may be observed at two separate terp sites in the province of Groningen for two other mares: an undated mare from De Wierhuizen and a Middle-Roman phase mare from Ezinge. The δ15N of the terp horse in the Fries Landbouwmuseum and those of two other terp horses are not enriched as is the case in general for aurochs, cattle and sheep bones from terp sites.