mound levellers at hogebeintum

The eleven men holding their long, narrow spades in this photograph are mound levellers, a common occupation in the 19th century. The rich soil of the dwelling mounds was used to fertilize poor sandy areas and make them suitable for agricultural purposes.

Groepsfoto van afgravers van de terp bij Hogebeintum, 1880-1890

Group photograph of mound levellers at Hogebeintum, 1880-1890

Not only did the soil fetch good prices, the excavations also produced thousands of archaeological findings, some of which can now be seen at the Fries Museum.

Nearly 700 mounds were levelled, mostly in the late 19th century, including the highest one at Hegebeintum where this picture was taken.