75 Terug naar het Ballooërveld (Dr.), deel 1


  • Wijnand van der Sanden


Return to the Ballooërveld (province of Drenthe), part 1. In 1956 children discovered human bones in the Galgenberg (‘Gallows hill’) located in the Ballooërveld, nowadays in the municipality of ‘Aa en Hunze’. In 1933, Van Giffen dug a trial trench into this prehistoric burial mound. Probably he did notice that there were human remains in the top of the barrow, but decided to leave them in situ since he was not very interested in the secondary use of this prehistoric barrow as a place to execute and/or exhibit criminals. This was not a wise decision, because the Ballooërveld was in use by the military. The skeletal remains that the children found in 1956 (among them a large part of a skull) were taken in by the Koninklijke Marechaussee (Royal Military Police) and were never handed over to the archaeologists. This is surprising, as the curator of the Drents Museum told them that these were the remains of criminals, executed between AD 1500 and 1800. On the basis of recent research on human remains found in the top of Galgenbergen elsewhere, we expect them to be of late medieval date. The present whereabouts of the Ballooërveld remains are unknown; presumably they were reburied. In 2004, bones of four individuals were discovered northeast of the Galgenberg, close to the ancient village boundary of Balloo. These bones were handed over to the police. After a long search, the author discovered that they are now kept at the Nederlands Forensisch Instituut in The Hague. The bones are due to be handed over to the author, whose hypothesis is that they are of late medieval date. The results of their radiocarbon dating by means of AMS will be published in Paleo-aktueel volume 23.