Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

You are here: Home / Associated publications / Anthropologica & Prehistorica / ANTHROPOLOGICA ET PREHISTORICA / Bibliographic references / The diet of Late Neolithic individuals from Hastière Caverne M in the Belgian Meuse basin.

Frank L Williams, Christopher W Schmidt, and Jessica L Droke (2022)

The diet of Late Neolithic individuals from Hastière Caverne M in the Belgian Meuse basin.

Anthropologica et Praehistorica, 131:79-96.

Nearly 80% of prehistoric burials of the Belgian Meuse basin date to the Late Neolithic period. To explore whether temporal differences characterize these Late Neolithic farmers, an intersite comparison is made. The main site of the present study is Hastière Caverne M (8 individuals), dated to circa 4,350 years before present (BP). Two additional sites from the Final/Late Neolithic period are also included, i.e. the rockshelter of Bois Madame in Arbre (12 individuals) dated between 4,075 and 3,910 years BP, and the cave of Sclaigneaux (15 individuals), dated to circa 4,155 years BP. The last site considered is Caverne de la Cave at Maurenne (18 individuals) associated with three Final/Late Neolithic dates spanning from 4,160 to 3,830 years BP and one Middle Neolithic date of circa 4,635 years BP. Comparative samples include Epipaleolithic and Holocene foragers, farmers and herders (173 individuals). Molar Phase II facets on dental casts were scanned via white-light confocal microscopy, and subjected to dental microwear texture analysis. This yielded complexity (Asfc), describing the degree of hard object consumption, and anisotropy (epLsar) which characterizes the patterning of microwear. Compared to other Neolithic Belgian sites, individuals of Hastière Caverne M exhibit significantly greater anisotropy with a large effect size suggesting a smaller amount of foraged foods was consumed. Complexity of Hastière Caverne M is elevated but is not significantly different from the other Meuse basin sites. During the Final/Late Neolithic period, just prior to the Bronze Age, wild plant foods may have been an important component of the diet in the Meuse basin. This could have stemmed from either domestic food scarcity, cultural traditions or other societal factors.
Caverne de la Cave at Maurenne, Bois Madame, Sclaigneaux, dental microwear texture analysis, paleodiet.



  Search tables of content Search Bibliographic References Search Full Text
Full Text


Editors in Chief:
Dr. Anne Hauzeur
Dr. Kevin Salesse
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Vautierstraat 29
1000 Brussels, Belgium

ISSN 1377-5723 (printed version)

UK: Guide for authors
FR: Instructions aux auteurs
NL: Richtlijnen voor auteurs