Tales from the ground

Tales from the ground

How did the inhabitants of the Lage Kempen deal with their dead in prehistory? IOED Lage Kempen developedin the ErfgoedApp a tour that takes you along some relevant archaeological sites.

On a bicycle tour, you will learn, among other things, how people from the Bronze and Iron Ages buried their dead in this region and why the Celtic Fields in Pelt have nothing at all to do with the Celts. Local heritage ambassadors will take you back to prehistory and tell you the story behind this special archaeological heritage.

European Year of Cultural Heritage

The tour is part of the project Stories from the soil. This is a project for which IOED Lage Kempen received subsidies within the framework of the European Year for Cultural Heritage. The municipalities Bocholt, Hamont-Achel and Pelt became partners. The project consisted of two parts, participation and access, and revolved around three archaeological sites spread over the municipalities involved: the Dorperheide urn field in Kaulille, the Haarterheide burial mounds in Hamont-Achel and the Celtic Fields complex in Pelt.

Heritage Ambassadors

For the participation part of the European project, a guided tour and a lecture evening were organised at each site. On these occasions, enthusiastic participants were sought who wanted to dedicate themselves to this local heritage. The result: a group of about twenty heritage ambassadors who participated in the opening up of the sites. Now that the project is finished, they continue to work in different teams to bring the sites to the attention and increase the support for their preservation and management. The heritage ambassadors who participated in the project are planning to use the ErfgoedApp for other projects within their work.


To open up the sites, it was decided to place an information panel and a bench at each site. In this way, the sites - which were previously often unknown and therefore unloved - were transformed into meaningful resting places for walkers and cyclists. The digital tour ensures that the sites are not overburdened with information panels. Anyone who wants to can obtain more information via ErfgoedApp . The different geographical points in the ErfgoedApp are linked in a brochure with a cycle route. This is provided free of charge by the tourist offices of the municipalities involved.

presentation moment stories from the soil - IOED Lage Kempen

Working within a limited time frame

As local volunteers, the heritage ambassadors are closely involved in the elaboration of the information panels and the cycling brochure. For the ErfgoedApp section they themselves determined the content. The IOED entered the information they provided into the ErfgoedApp . Now that the project is finished, results are being collected on the use of the app, in order to work out a next version later.

Due to the relatively short period of time (January-May) in which heritage ambassadors were working, the IOED was not able to use the ErfgoedApp as originally intended. The intention was to make more intensive use of audio and video fragments, for which there was no time in the short course of the project. This 'first' version of the tour was therefore worked out in a simple way, with a few theme buttons behind which there is an image carousel. However, this way of working brought with it some limitations. The IOED mainly takes from this that with such a participative approach, a longer period should be provided to work something out together.

What are you waiting for?

Cycle about 40 km along archaeological sites. Stops will be made at the archaeological sites of Haarterheide and Dorperheide.

  • In Pelt, it is difficult to recognise the remains of the Celtic Fields, but they become clearly visible via ErfgoedApp ! Thanks to the images from the digital elevation model, you can recognise the structure of these prehistoric mounds.
  • In an old fragment from the archives of VRT, grave robbers from the 1970s show how they worked on the Limburg urn fields and burial mounds.

Download the tour Verhalen uit de bodem at ErfgoedApp or pick up the free brochure at the tourist offices of the participating municipalities.