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Mona Court-Picon, Hélène Collet, and Dominique Bosquet (2012)

Pollen and Non-Pollen palynomorphs from two neolithic sites in Wallonia (SE Belgium)

In: University of Tokyo, Japan, 13th International Palynological Congress IPC/IPOC.

The study presented in this contribution is part of a new multidisciplinary research program undertaken by the “Service Public de Wallonie” since 2011 on archaeological sites uncovered in the Walloon region (SE Belgium). Indeed, very few archaeoenvironmental studies have been done in this area, especially in archaeobotany, and none of them was employed in combination. Up to now, most of the studies have been concentrated on the Neolithic period which is thus the best documented so far. In this context, we analysed pollen and NPPs from two Neolithic sites of primary importance for the understanding of the first sedentary occupations and/or their specific activities. Our data represent the first NPPs records in Wallonia. The first site (Fehxe-le-Haut-Cloché) is an Early Neolithic village (Belgian LBK) situated on the Belgian High Speed Train path Brussels-Liege. It is characterized by outlying houses which are older than the rest of the village’s houses located within an enclosure. Pottery style, techno-functional aspects of flint-tools and AMS C14 dating attest that these isolated houses may be considered as pioneer installations. Pollen and NPPs analyses are based on 35 samples coming from 18 pits and ditches linked to 8 houses belonging to both pioneer and secondary phases. The second site (Spiennes), located in the outskirts of Mons, is well known for its Middle-Late Neolithic flint mines which are listed on the UNESCO World heritage Sites since 2000. The men who started to dig mines in Spiennes had just discovered a profuse deposit of quality, which was to be exploited for more than 1 800 years. In total, around one hundred hectares were to be exploited and thousands of shafts were to be bored. Pollen and NPPs samples (48) have been retrieved from exploited flint layers, extraction shafts infillings and flint knapping workshops of 12 structures scattered on 3 different parcels of the exploitation.
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