Mesolithic tools from the Wimbe alluvial plain, at Revogne (R. G THE FACT THAT THERE ARE FEW IDENTIFIED PREHISTORIC SITES IN THE GEOPARK DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE REGION WAS SCANTILY POPULATED IN THESE PERIODS OF THE STONE AGE.
Our lack of knowledge stems rather from a lack of systematic archaeological investigation and the difficulties involved in investing densely forested and heavily grazed environments. The Palaeolithic, the first age of humanity, is represented by the Tiène des Maulins cave (Éprave), which has produced the earliest signs of human occupation in the form of flints shaped by nomadic hunter-gatherers around 35000 BCE. At the end of this first period, some 10000 BCE, the Coléoptère (Juzaine-Bomal) and Verlaine (Tohogne) caves were home to populations described as Magdalenian. In addition to producing flint tools, the Magdalenian culture was known for producing tools and objects, some finely decorated, from deer horn and ivory. During the Mesolithic (from 10000 BCE to 5200 BCE), human communities continued to survive by predation (hunting, fishing) and gathering, whilst adapting to environmental changes. Small scrapers, reworked shards and arrowheads all made from flint, plus the debris produced in their making, suggest sporadic camps on the edges of plateaux and along the river banks.
FIG 1 The limestone massif of the Tiène des Maulins cave in Éprave, with the river Lomme in the background, behind the tree-line (C. Frébutte © AWaP). FIG 2 Current state of the Coléoptère cave-shelter in Juzaine (C. Frébutte © AWaP).
FIG 3 Reindeer horn harpoon from the Coléoptère cave site (Juzaine), dating from around 10000 BCE (© ULg, Service de Préhistoire).
FIG 4 illes © AWaP).