THE BRONZE AGE (1800-800 BCE) SAW THE DEVELOPMENT OF NON-EGALITARIAN, HIERARCHICAL SOCIETIES, LED BY ELITES WHOSE AUTHORITY WAS FOUNDED ON CONTROL OF THE DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS FOR MATERIALS AND GOODS.
A Bronze Age origin has been attributed to the enigmatic megalithic monument of the Cuvelée du Diable (The Devil’s Stones) in Forrières. It is the Late Bronze Age that is best represented in the region, with several gravesites and deposits of metal objects. The main site is the Trou de Han, which may have been used for religious purposes. The quantity, quality and type of objects found in the bed of the Lesse make this one of the leading sites in Europe : spearheads, swords, axes, pins, knives, razors and tools made from bronze, but also jewellery such as a magnificent set made up of gold discs. These material finds reveal the influence of two cultural entities : the so-called Alpine complex (Rhine - Switzerland - Eastern France) circa 1100 to 900 BCE and then, circa 900 to 800 BCE, the Atlantic complex (British Isles, Flanders and western France).
FIG 1 The Cuvelée du Diable (The Devil’s Stones) in Forrières (C. Frébutte © AWaP).
FIG 2 The Trou de Han (Han-sur-Lesse), with the emergence of the Lesse (C. Frébutte © AWaP).
FIG 3 Example of a Late Bronze Age grave discovered in 1893 near Han-sur-Lesse. The corpse, probably a member of the elite, was buried under a pile of stones forming a mound, and was wearing a torc (a large neck ring) made from copper alloy (© Société archéologique de Namur).