‘s – Hertogenbosch (Pays-Bas): Neanderthal stone tools and flakes discovered
A selection of the stone tools and faunal remains from the site. Images: Gerard de Graaf
Well preserved stone artefacts from a Neanderthal encampment along with a selection of faunal remains represents an important archaeological discovery for the Netherlands.
The Palaeolithic material – 40,000 to 70,000 years ago – was found at the city of ‘s – Hertogenbosch in the southern Netherlands while preparing for the construction of an underground car park.
Specialist recovery procedures
As the ground being excavated is below sea level, specialist excavation procedures are needed to retrieve any archaeological evidence. This means that a large quantity of sand has to be sucked up through tubes and then screened through fine meshed sieves to obtain any finds. At this particular site the archaeological material has come from around 7 metres below sea level.
Stone tools and faunal remains
The finds include a large number of typically Neanderthal stone tools and flakes. Alongside this collection are also a quantity of mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, reindeer, giant deer, horses and bison bones. The stone tools and bones appear to be in exceptionally good condition and will be examined in detail by experts from the University of Leiden.
Specialist are in the process of taking soil samples in order to obtain some insight into the typical species of plants and trees growing in the area 40,000 to 70,000 years ago enabling the environment of the Neanderthals to be re-constructed in more detail.