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Middle Palaeolithic artefacts found near St.-Geertruid, Limburg, The Netherlands

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RIJCKHOLT8klein                       RIJCKHOLT4klein

The test trench (left) and a Levallois-like core (right)  (Photos RCE)

A team of the RCE (Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed) has discovered a Middle Palaeolithic site near St.-Geertruid, Limburg, The Netherlands. Since the late 19th-century discovery of the Neolithic flint mining activities there, thousands of Middle Palaeolithic artefacts have been recovered as surface finds at the edges of the High Terrace plateau of Sint Geertruid. The RCE team created a deep test trench in the loess sequence at some distance from the terrace edge. Our former MA-students Phil Glauberman and Yannick Henk were instrumental in this discovery. Their team managed to retrieve flint artefacts from this loess section, in a geological context securely pre-dating a well-known marker horizon in the regional loess-stratigraphy, the so-called Nagelbeek horizont. This gives the finds a minimum age of 20.000 years BP. The exact age of the finds (a few flint artefacts and a core) still needs to be established, as well as whether we are dealing with a primary context site or with reworked material. The flint exploitation at Ryckholt-Sint Geertruid was discovered in 1881 by Marcel de Puydt, a Belgian archaeologist, later one of the excavators of the Spy Neanderthals (1886).

More information here (in Dutch)