THE NEOLITHIC (FROM 5200 TO 2200 BCE) MARKS THE ADOPTION OF A NEW WAY OF LIFE BASED ON AGRICULTURE AND HUSBANDRY, AND POPULATIONS GRADUALLY SETTLING TO FORM VILLAGES.
No such habitat has as yet been excavated. Objects discovered and carbon dating of bones point to a densification of population in the 4th and 3rd millennia. The most numerous of the material witnesses belong to the world of the dead. Their remains are to be found in the mass graves created at natural sites (Porte Aïve cave in Hotton, Martouzin rock shelter in Neuville) or in megalithic monuments. The Calestienne features a remarkable concentration of such constructions, foremost among them the archaeological site known as the Wéris megalithic field, which features two covered alleys and some thirty menhirs.
FIG 1 The Wéris I covered alley, circa 3000 / 2500 BCE (C. Frébutte © AWaP).
FIG 2 Overview of the Wéris II covered alley and its five associated menhirs, circa 3000 / 2500 BCE (P. Moers © AWaP)
FIG 3 Jadeite hatchet found in Villers-surLesse, 3rd millennium BCE. The geological origin of this remarkable piece, an indicator of high status, corresponds to the Italian Alps (infographics : É. Dewamme © Institut royal des Sciences naturelles de Belgique).