gemeente (municipality), northeastern Netherlands, on the Hondsrug ridge. It was a centre of the peat colonies (veenkolonien) established in the 19th century to convert the surrounding peat fields to agricultural use. As peat digging declined after 1920, Emmen suffered considerable unemployment. It has grown rapidly into the foremost urban and industrial centre of Drenthe since textile (silk, rayon, synthetics), metallurgical, chemical, pharmaceutical, and timber industries were established there after World War II. Emmen has a zoo and a museum, and in the vicinity are several hunebedden ("huns' graves"; prehistoric funereal monuments built with large boulders that were probably deposited during the Ice Age). Immediately south, near Schoonebeek, are oil and gas fields. Pop. (2007 est.) 108,832.
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