The Hijkerveld is a heathland located in the central part of the Drents Plateau (a boulder clay plateau) at the watershed of two fluvial systems, the Beilerstroom in the south and the Drentse Aa in the north. The substrate at this location consists of Saalian base moraine still known as boulder clay, which lies relatively close to the surface in this area. Locally, the boulder clay is covered by aeolian sand deposits from the Weichsel, at the top of which Cambic podzols have developed. During the Bronze and Iron Age (c. 2000 BC – 0 AD) drift sand deposits have locally altered the geological relief to a visible scale.
The Hijkerveld is known for its prehistoric remains that were visible up until the large-scale heathland reclamations in the 1930’s. At this point up until 40 barrows varying in date from Late Neolithic to Late Iron Age were known to exist alongside the walls of a Celtic field system. Fortunately, the 1930’s reclamations were accompanied by archaeological research that resulted in the mapping of some of the field banks and barrows, as well as the excavation of a number of barrows.
A second reclamation campaign in the 1950’s was again accompanied by archaeological investigations. Reallotment plants in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s brought the cause for a third archaeological campaign involving the excavation of four barrows and the digging of two trial trenches which revealed features of a settlement site.
Arnoldussen, S. & De Vries, K.M., 2013. Of farms and fields. The Bronze Age and Iron Age settlement and Celtic field at Hijken-Hijkerveld. Palaeohistoria 55(56), 85-104.