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Archaeological Remains In The Vicinity Of Baarn

Here we have a text published in the periodical of a small archaeological group in 1954. First we see a lengthy and somewhat dry list of known remains and all the way at the end appears a ‘Farwerckian’ theory.



F.E. Farwerck


In the summer of 1953, some members of the Workgroup “Gooi- en Eemland” undertook a few investigations in the surroundings of Baarn and the woods of the Lage Vuurse, in order to find out what can still be found of what was reported in the past about burial mounds and the like.

As everywhere in the Gooi region, various grave robbers have indulged their lust, but in addition, beginners in the field of scientific research, followed by more experts, have carried out excavations, and a number of newspaper articles, as well as the book by Prof. J. A. DE Rijk, “Wandelingen door Gooi en Eemland,” (Walks through Gooi and Eemland) and that by T. Pruim, “Uit de geschiedenis van Baarn,” (From the history of Baarn) provide information about the results. But these indications are usually quite imperfect and, moreover, repeated deforestation and new planting has made it difficult to find the places described. It becomes even more difficult when the land has been changed into farmland or when the old roads have been moved, so that the old clues are of little use anymore. The research was greatly facilitated, however, by one of the members, Mr. JOH. HEPP from Baarn, had already explored the area thoroughly and, supported by his experiences, it therefore archaeologically important places and to record them on the staff map.

The first recovered burial mounds lie in the immediate vicinity of the Baarn railroad ravine. They were excavated under the auspices of Prof. Dr. A. E. VAN GIFFEN in 1926 by BARON VAN HEERDT, in Baarn (PLUIM, 1927, 1932). The first mound is quite low and had already been almost destroyed in earlier digging. Nothing of significance was therefore found, but apparently there was still sufficient data to date it to the Bronze Age. The second, which lies a little further into the forest, is said to be from the Stone Age. In it they found a “beautiful bell jar,” which, however, according to the report, was thrown to pieces by a dog while it was drying (PLUIM, 1927). So this one was lost to us, but the same goes for the other other finds brought to light. They ended up in private collections and nothing is known about them since.

Another burial mound site must have been located on the Hilversumseweg, opposite the well-known “Zouthuisje” (Little Salt House). Here would have been three burial mounds, including the “most beautiful of Baarn. These were excavated in 1928 under the supervision of Prof. VAN GIFFEN (PLUIM, 1927, 1932). They date from the They date from the Bronze Age, but later burials of funerary urns have also been found in them. However, the area where the burial mounds were supposed to have been located has been excavated, so that no trace of them can be found.

According to a communication from PLUIM (1927, 1932) a number of burial mounds would have been located near an intersection of the so-called Hessenweg and the road from Lage Vuurse to Soestdijkerstraatweg. This Hessenweg is shown on today’s maps as Berkenweg and where it crosses the road, which is no longer Soestdijkerstraatweg to Lage Vuurse, there are indeed six mounds, which may be the described burial mounds.

At least their location, also in relation to each other, corresponds exactly to PLUIM’s description. In 1893 three skeletons and a bronze axe were found there during digging. The worker, who was working there, found in the chest of one of the skeletons.a bronze lance point, which he of course smashed….!! J. C. BARON D’AULNIS DE BOUROUILL, municipal archivist of Baarn, then had further digging done in the area, but found only a layer of boulders, some charcoal, three skeletons and an,’urn (PLUIM, 1910). But earlier, about 1840, Dr. W. MOLL, the former pastor of the Lage Vuurse and well-known church historian, had dug here dug and “found a lot”.

In the park of Drakesteyn Castle there are also several burial mounds. These were excavated in 1926 and 1927 and yielded “very curious finds. The only positive message that has come to us about this, says that around one of the mounds a wall.

The only positive report that has come to us says that around one of the mounds there was a small wall of boulders and that on the east side two large, heavy stones stood upright, supplemented with gravel and smaller stones, in addition to some sand; around this was a pure circular, black track of soil, apparently originating from a wooden palisade, and around this fence a wide strip of land was paved with stones. In the mound one found an axe of diorite and a flint knife (PLUIM, 1932).

Close to the Lage Vuurse there used to be a mill and also near this mill burial mounds could be found. Through information provided by the son of the former miller, we could find the old mill hill, which now lies in the middle of a forest and is itself wooded. There was no trace of any burial mounds, but the dense overgrowth of the surroundings may have played a role here, as there are several areas we were unable to penetrate. In his youth, however, our spokesman had seen a large urn emerge from the uprooting of a heavy oak tree standing on one of the burial mounds.

In 1918 T. PLUIM, the later archivist of Baarn, wrote that it had been pointed out to him “a sort of huneschans (Hun rampart), near a lake, in the middle of the Vuurse woods”. Dr. L. J. F. JANSSEN, at the time director of the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, had already visited these ramparts in 1853, but they were a mystery to him. In the Baarnse Crt ‘(February 1919) J. W. KNOPPERS Kzn, tells how in his youth, around 1860, in these lakes “some round islands stuck out fairly high above the water. He fantasizes that there were cabins of charcoal burners, who would have extracted charcoal here around 800. Perhaps he did this on the basis of charcoal finds. At the moment there is a lake there, Lake Pluis, with a double embankment on one side with a fairly deep ditch in between and another ditch on both sides. An indication of what it might have been has not been found to date.

Approximately in the same neighborhood, according to KNOPPERS in the mentioned article, there would have been a tumulus. “In the moonlight of remembrance I clearly see the mound, close to the Hessenweg, to the left or right in a corner of the heathland, as far from the Pijnenburg estate as from the Soestdijk domain; perhaps 300 steps from both. It looked like this: in the middle a round spot, perhaps four feet higher than the heathland, and richly overgrown with heather and brushwood. At some distance around there was a round depression, from which two more dams led to the middle. One dam pointed to the forest of Pijnenburg; the other, rectangular to it, to the forest of Drakesteyn. Of the other two dams I remember absolutely nothing. PLUIM mentions something similar in the same year (1919): ‘Not far from there (namely from the burial mounds close to the Vuurse itself) I was allowed, on the instructions of Mr. DE BRAAUW, of Buitenzorg, to discover these days a splendid dome grave, sixty steps in circumference and ten steps from the foot, surrounded by a wide, now dry moat. The four entrances lie, according to the compass, on the four points of the compass. The hill is covered with a thick layer of humus and is itself composed of sand and gravel. The trees on the mound and in the moat are about 250 years old.” No burial mound has been found that exactly fits either description.

However, a similar burial mound was found near the Reskammerspoor, of which the following can be said: The mound has a diameter of about 15 meters and is about 2 meters high. At a distance of about 8 meters a ditch runs around it, which is about 115 meters wide. The four access roads, dams through the ditch, are placed exactly on the cross, but not oriented to the four points of the compass. The site is overgrown with 30 to 40 year old pine trees. A forester told us that this burial mound is popularly called “King’s Tomb” or “Seven King’s Tombs”; perhaps the latter name is related to its location, namely on the grounds of the former farmstead “De Zeven Linden”. According to further information from the forester, seven kings were buried around the hill, but the interpretation given here was that the dams in the ditch were considered graves.

It is a valley bordered on one side by a row of natural hills and on the other by an apparently artificial wall. It is not impossible that this pit has to be put in the same category as many similar pits, such as the different ones: Koordkuilen, Wolfskamers, Solse Gat, Balloërkuil etc. There is every reason to believe that in these pits a rite of death and resurrection was performed, as a result of which the initiates became followers of Wodan, who originally acted in the first place as the God of the Dead – and therefore the God of the Underworld and Initiation (VAN DER ZUYLEN, 1953). “The horse, as a death-horse, played a certain role in this. It is not the place here to go into this in detail, but the discoveries of recent years are a good reason to connect these pits with the old initiation rites.


Pruim, T. (1910). lets over de Lage Vuurse. — Baarnse Crt, 22-1X.

— (1918). Oude vondst aan de Vuurse. — Baarnse Crt, 29-1V.

— (1919). Grafheuvels aan de Vuurse. — Baarnse Crt, 3-lL.

— (1927). Baarnse grafheuvels. — De Eembode, 20-1X.

— (1932). Uit de geschiedenis van Baarn. — Hilversum.

ZUYLEN, B.J.. VAN DER (1953). Noord-Europese Mysteriën en Inwijdingen in-de Oudheid. — Hilversum, Uitg. Thule.

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