Kopse Hof Bronze Age Stone Circles and Cairns

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Location: The Kopse Hof, near Nijmegen, province Gelderland, The Netherlands.

Significance: A sacred complex of graves dating back to the Neolithic and Bronze Age, cairn circles formed the basis of mounds slighted by Roman legionaries whose barracks were in the vicinity. The complex included eight tall wooden posts which in prehistory marked the annual cycle with eight annual principal solar festivals.  A Celtic open-air temple was excavated nearby, of which the sides were oriented to the Four Cardinal directions. A paved road from this temple ran towards the adjacent burial complex.

The site was grossly vandalized, both  by the residents of nearby houses who removed stones as decorations for their gardens, and by the excavating archaeologists, led by Harry van Enckevort and Glenn Tak, who in 1994/5 have  dug away certain sections of the Bronze Age graves to a depth of two feet. In their later publication about the complex they have not once referred to the sacred aspect of these sites, thereby demonstrating their failure to recognize and understand the sacred aspect which forms the very basis for the construction and layout of the entire complex.

The Threat: Vandalism

Preservation Status: This site as granted royal protection by the government of the Netherlands, which was to last until September of 1995. But by the summer of 1995, archaeologists had begun removing stones from the site for a local exhibit. Also, local residents had begun taking stones themselves. The entire site was covered back over, hiding the destructive actions of the archaeologists.

For More Information: Site Saver Newsletter, Volume V, Number 3, Summer 1995, with an Urgent-Action Letter-Writing Campaign submitted by John Palmer.

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