Measurements on Dutch passage mounds

(One of?) the first web pages on Dutch megalithic passage mounds (since beginning 1996)

An e-group has been set-up to look into these Dutch monuments. It  is at this moment looking into the protection around the oldest monuments in The Netherlands.

Orientation measurements

Orientation measurements were done on almost all of the Dutch passage mounds. From an overview and discussion on these results one can see that most chamber of the Dutch passage mounds are oriented along east and west.
Below a pictures is given of the number of passage mounds that have a particular orientation (a comparable investigation has been done by Bom, F. and see also Orientations of the Dutch Hunebedden).

From this picture one can deduct that most chambers are oriented between 246o and 305o (75% of measured passage mounds). The main declination will be between: -14o and 20o. The declination is not really dependent on the altitude of the horizon, because in this region of The Netherlands the horizon could be at maximum some 10 [m] lower than at the location of the passage mound (or the effect of trees had to be significant in the past).

Comparable orientations can be found on the German passage mounds (of the same time frame, 3300 BCE to 2600 BCE, close together [100 km], and comparable cultural environment [Funnel Beaker Culture]). 

Possible explanation for this distribution

The orientation of the Dutch passage mounds is around 270° +/- 25° (or of course 90° +/- 25°).

I have the following theory that the deviation has to do with the full moon positions around equinox at building time of the mounds:

Other possible explanations

Spliced stones

Like mentioned by several people (Bom, F. and Bakker, J.A.), some stones seems to be spliced. Some good examples are cover stones 1 with 2 and 3 with 4 of D25 and cover stones 1 with 2 of D29.

Spliced stones at D25

Here are two examples of the splitting:

Spliced stones at D29

The geometry of the undersides of cover stones 1 (blue) and 2 (red) (error in length around 2%):

More specific geometry info:
side stone 1 stone 2
# [mm] [mm]
1 1200 1100
2 1700 1750
3 1000 1140
4 2000 1800
5 700 860
6 1660 1700

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Total 8260 8350

Possible methods to split stones

There are some ideas how people could have spliced megalithic stones (of granite, gneiss, etc.):

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Last content related changes: Aug. 24, 2000