A new find in the Veluwe: Did the Dutch people have Ukrainian forefathers?

August 09, 2019

ODU - CULTURE · Just as OpenDoorUkraine.NL is preparing to participate in the Ukraine Days that will be organised in Dutch National Park De Hoge Veluwe, archeologists have made a unique find in this natural area: the prehistoric ancestors of the Dutch may have been Ukrainian immigrants.


Quentin Bourgeois, an assistant professor of Leiden University, found that burial mounds in the Veluwe were made in the period 2800-1000 BC by migrants who had arrived from the steppes of what is now Ukraine and Russia. The gifts found in the tombs and the burial rituals – the men interred facing west, women facing east – are the same as those found in prehistoric graves in Ukraine and Russia.

“In the Veluwe we are discovering traces of the genesis of our present society”, Bourgeois told Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant. This was made possible by scientific discoveries of the past few years, such as new dna identification techniques, and the knowledge that a large migration movement to western Europe originated from the Pontic steppes (now the south of Russian and of Ukraine) from 3000 BC on.

At the time, the Veluwe was a fertile area for agriculture and grazing cattle, says Bourgeois. It was therefore a densely populated territory that may have hosted tens of thousands of people – including those coming from Ukraine and beyond.

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Photo: Peter Lous/Nationaal Park De Hoge Veluwe.

(by Diederik Kramers)