Regional Limburg (NL) The Neolithic

Regional Limburg (NL):  The Neolithic period LJG 2012 
this article mainly involves the lithic aspects of the periods 
for a brief overview of the vegetation history of the Neolithic- Bronze age see at this blog Prehistoric vegetation history - slides & info

The location of South -Limburg  (Netherlands )

The main locations mentioned in the text., marked with the characters A-Z in the text and in the map above.

- for all images: click to enlarge)
For field -prospections, the Neolithic period is the most abundant period in the Rhine- Meuse region. Firstly  because  most eroded surfaces in this region  are of a Neolithic date, due to erosion processes ( especially during cold phases of the glacial, and after the Bronze ages and during the Roman period  caused by  large agricultural activities in the region )[ LISEM manual PDF], [e.g. Wind -water erosion at hill tops during MIS 6, named the "Hazendans discordance", wind- erosion at MIS2, the "Patina -discordance", Van Baalen et. al 2006]. Secondly, the region has several flint sources, that have  known a large scale exploitation  especially during the Neolithic period. In this case, the region is known for several large activity zones, where  tools were made.
During the Neolithic period,  improvements took place ( compared with previous periods)  in tool production and appliance of new techniques such as grinding ( agricultural techniques) and polishing ( changing societies). The Linear Pottery Culture  (abbr. LBK = Linear Band Keramik culture) was the first to make the transition between the Mesolithic- Neolithic in the region, at about 5400 BC; traces of this culture (postholes of farms, pottery, botanic remains, bone material, flint tools, etc.) were found  in Dutch South Limburg as well as in Belgium and Germany, always linked at the loess soils.(1)
In the small village of Rosmeer- Staberg  (A) in Belgium where  excavations by  H. Roossens in 1962 took place, which demonstrated a large LBK- settlement  ( Vanmontfort et al 2011, publ. by Modderman, 1981) we find nowadays a statue, dedicated to the former Neolithic people of this LBK ( see first image below on this page). In this village, you can make an archaeological tour . We must not forget, that the Mesolithic hunter -gatherer lifestyle did go on during the presence of the LBK - farming Culture: with a short break between 4900 BC and 4700 BC the Neolithic has started, but the Mesolithic is assumed to have continued in the region, especially the sandy region of the Belgian Kempen region,  Middle Limburg  and the German Selfkant  till ca 6.500–5.300 / 4.400 cal BC (De Grooth 1997).

Intermezzo: surface collecting. The ARBAN surface finds
The surface of South Limburg has suffered a lot. Since the Late Neolithic period (Bunnik, 1995), human influence on the top soil of large parts of this region has caused erosion. This erosion will have continued in some parts of the Bronze Age, even though traces from this period are rare in the region, except for some tumuli near Vaals and Gronsveld. The roman period is another period where large parts of the region have been cleared for agricultural purposes; as Maastrichts has a principal function of  a 'horreum' (stockage of cereals) for the region, the over 20 villa rusticae we know from the region had large arable fields to grow the burly and wheat.  By these reasons, many exposed parts of the south Limburg surface have a Neolithic date or - at the plateau's edges- an even older date, back to the Palaeolithic. On the other hand, many fields that are now cultivated have been forested from the Mesolithic till the Bronze age / Iron age.
In the ARBANNIG -finds blog we find many surface collected flint artifacts determined as belonging to the Nesolithic period;  see images of small objects from the Neolithic ; images of large objects from the Neolithic   and images of Neolithic flint cores. Not only diagnostic type- tools were collected, but also debitage waste materials, adapted pebbles, polished stones, cores, retouched blades, retouched flakes, etc..
Since Prof. Hamal Nandrin (1903) and the Belgian archeologist Marcel De Puydt (1855 -1940) investigated the area in 1881 by collecting many artifacts from the surface in Southern Limburg, many, many others followed, even the RUG (Rijks Universiteit Groningen) collected many lithic remains in a systematic field prospection from the surface of a field at St. Geertuid - "De Hey".
So, what is collected from the surface, is always a very limited remnant of what once used to be the original lithic assemblage,  left by generations of the prehistoric people thousands years ago. Many stone age artifacts have ended up in many collections, the finest specimen collected first. Indeed, at many fields we only find nowadays the most 'ugly' flint debris, but fortunately one can always collect other types of stones ( pebble tools) or material from another period ( e.g. Mesolithic, adapted fluvial pebbles, etc.).
The additional field-notes do not only comprise locations of the surface collected items, but form  additional information  about  properties of the field (geological) , especially related to the finds and their original context.
A lot of information, used for the interpretation and determination of artifacts from the fields, e.g. about the Neolithic period has been derived from large excavations like at Maastricht -Randwyck (Rössen culture) , St. Geertruid -De Kaap ( i.c. by Prof.H.T.Waterbolk, Biological Archaeological Institute Groningen University - in 1964  ) and excavations of the LBK ( Cannerberg phase 2 C/ D(Bakels 1982 , 1987), Graetheide, Beek- Kerkeveld, Geleen -Janskamperveld [JKV]), etc.).

 A brief overview of the Neolithic periods for South- Limburg

Simplified compilation of the periods based on the table of De Grooth, 2007 

[The chronology, used in this article,  is based on a timetable composed by M. de Grooth (2007) : The Loecker / De Grooth 2005; based on Lanting & Van der Duty 1999/2000, with additions from Kalis et al 2001 and Louwe Kooijmans & Youngest 2006 for the Hazendonk group]

Early Neolithic A Linear Band- ceramic / Linear Pottery culture (LBK ) 5360- 5000 BC
The Linear Pottery Culture -Linear Band Keramik has been established in our  surrounding countries  . ("Omalien" (Belgique) , "Rubiné" (France) Linear Bandkeramik (Deutschland) Lineaire Band Keramiek (Nederland, Vlaanderen) , abbreviatied.LBK  Band-ceramic Culture, or Linear Pottery Culture.
The Early Neolithic starts with the arrival of the Band -ceramic culture around 5250 BC,chronology based upon C14-dates, made by Lanting & Van der Plicht 1999-2000. (Van Wijk,Van de Velde 2007). This part of the LBK almost certainly has arrived here as a separation or extension of the 'Flomborn' part of the LBK of around 5300 BC,  from the northern part of the Lower- Rhine Rift, moving southwards into the direction of Cologne, where Limburg was reached around 5250 BC, the Belgian loess region west of the Maas river at around 5100 BC ( De Grooth, Vande Velde 2005). The LBK moved southwards by the Rhine river, moving eastwards along the Moselle river towards  the Paris basin, around 5000 BC. The groups of the LBK in this migration movement, became more and more isolated, defined by the different characteristics of their tools and pottery (Coudart, 1998).
The oldest LBK settlements of The Netherlands, we find in the northern part of South Limburg at the "Graetheide" - area, in the towns of Geleen (B), Elsloo (C), Stein (D) and Sittard (E), always situated at the plateau's edge, with a great view over the brook 'Geleenbeek' or over the Maas river. After 5100 BC,  the LBK started to expand, direction south, but this expansion did not last long as in 4850 BC,  the LBK disappears from South Limburg without any trace, while in the Rhine valley the LBK continued (Grossgartach Culture).
The LBK culture has been very well studied, and we got information about the dispersion and styles of settlements, house-maps, economic systems and about  material technologies ( flint and other stone type- tools , pottery). The local LBK in South Limburg  is a part of a Central -West European Culture, of which the Limburgian part is the most northern part. So the LBK  is limited to the loess area ( except at Itteren, where LBK has been established in the valley outside the loess area, by finds of flint, pottery 1995) and was imported by migration waves from the east, in combination with assumed acculturation by local Mesolithic hunter gatherers. (This is not clear yet, see some other articles at this blog).
The pottery of' ' La Hoguette'  and ' Limburg ', simultaneously with the LBK made by local hunter -gatherers  has its origin from Southern Europe, i.c. south France and Spain (Jeunesse 1987 Van Berg 1990).
Settlements are often  found on the borders of the plateaus, near open water (e.g. Vostrovska 2012).
In the use of flint,  the Ryckholt type flint (belonging to the Cretaceous Lanaye flint, see descriptions at Flintsource Net) was the most abundant used type. In this Ryckholt flint type, the Valkenburg - variety ( at Beek- Kerkeveld / Beek-Molensteeg) and the 'Banholt' -flint  variety has been found the most abundant in LBK- settlements (Brounen / Peeters, 2000/2001). The Banholt flint is an eluvial flint -type, and such material was even found in LBK - settlements at the Aldenhover Platte in Germany (Zimmermann 1988, Gaffrey 1994, De Grooth 1998). In the assemblages of this period we find blades, large and small blade cores, blade tablet cores, end -scrapers made on flakes and blades, and  the so called pars pro toto -drills (on small blades) and typical points ( trapezes, asymmetric LBK -points).
As points are diagnostic as single finds, it is important to distinguish them in the field: three types have been noticed (Bohmeres, Bruijn, 1958, 1959)
1) Symmetrical triangles, both sides are equally intensively retouched, the base is always retouched, either straight or concave. 2) Asymmetric triangles, with an intensive retouched and less or not retouched long side at an acute angle, and an often hollow  retouched.base. When the base and the least retouched long side forms an obtuse angle, one speaks of a 'classic' band ceramic striker. 3)Four Corners: these have two, retouched or not- retouched  parallel sidesteeply retouched receding sides, which forms an acute angle with the longest not -retouched side.
The LBK- point however would have developed rather  from a Mesolithic asymmetric trapezium type, used in the local assemblages of the hunter gatherers between the Loire and the Lower Rhine (Jeunesse, 2002).
Mainly from the Belgian LBK, "orange slice part" - like flakes are reported, often with a gloss on the edges ( the author has found these in South Limburg too).
So the distribution of the Banholt -flint was not limited to the direct area during the LBK period;finds of Banholt type flint were reported from Tongres (Belgium)(F) ( Dijkstra et al 2006) from the Middle Neolithic phase.
Blades were also used as knives, and, with several put together in a row, to form sickles.In the work of M. de Grooth, De vroege prehistorie, 2007,  we find remarkable conclusions about the flint production of the Band-ceramic Culture. Production of tools took place at the settlement ( Beek-Kerkeveld, De Grooth 1987), so the raw material was transported from its source(s). Part -time specialist ( flint workers) were proved by the fact there was more debris in the waste pits than tools (= overproduction).
In Geleen-Janskamperveld, another  LBK - settlement there has been  found proof  for the fact half fabricated cores were transported from neighboring regions ( Kooijmans et al 2003).
In the late LBK period (II)  tools like end scrapers, arrowheads and points  get a more standardized typology, but besides of this non-standardized types do occur, like carved and serrated implements. End-scrapers are made on flakes and blades.Points from this period show complete or partial retouched edges, sometimes with a steep dorsal retouch..Characteristic of the point is the  retouch plate inverse (RPI) at the base, sometimes accompanied with a flat dorsal retouch Bohmers/ Bruijn 1958/ 1959 , Löhr 1994).[ Retouch Plate Inverse = flat ventral retouch of the small truncation].
During the LBK period  ( this period is divided in two major periods, for South Limburg the oldest phase does not exist, the phases are Ib (old) and Ic /Id (middle) ) we distinguish 3 types of points:
-symmetric triangles, with both long edges retouched
- asymmetric triangles , with one intensively retouched edge and another less retouched edge, with often a hollow (retouched) base
- square points, with two( most often retouched)  parallel sides and two steep retouched, receding sides.
The last two types of points are assumed to have been taken over from points used by  the  regional Mesolithic hunter -gatherers  ( Löhr 1994, Jeunesse 2002).
During the different phases of the LBK period the pottery changed. In the old LBK phase, the pottery is characterized by  decorations with narrow bands, sometimes with adjacent rows of dots.
During the Middle LBK also the edges of the  pottery is decorated, initially with a simple line or row dots, later with more complex motives, and the final LBK (IId) shows dots , not placed one by one, but placed by the use of a polydentate spatula, a kind of comb. giving only rows of dots, lacking the rows.
Some important LBK settlements in Dutch Limburg known from excavations: ( located in the Graetheide triangle ):
- Geleen -Janskamperveld , here  60 house-maps are found;
- Elsloo -Koolwe), here are 100 houses excavated, but it is estimated that there have been 300 to 400;
- Stein -Keerender Kerkweg
- Sittard -Tienbunder and   Sittard-Stadswegske, between the Stadswegske and the highway 48 houses  are excavated but  it is estimated that there are have been about 400 ).
At the westbank of the Maas river there are  finds from the  LBK known at Maastricht -Caberg-Belvédère, Maastricht-Klinkers, Maastricht- Lanakerveld and Maastricht -Cannerberg (G) (Bakels 1978; Dijkman 2000; Theunissen 1990); this settlement pattern has a continuation at the Belgian side of the border, where locations of the LBK could be found along the brooks Heezerwater and Jeker (Geer), ranging till the Belgian Hesbaye province.
In Belgium, the LBK  is  named "Omalien", after the Belgian type site of the LBK and  is known from places like Vlijtingen -Kayberg (I) (Vanderhoeven , Marichal et al 1987), Riemst-Toekomststraat  (H) (Vynckier, Vanmontfort & Vanderbeken, 2009) Wange ( excavations from 1979 / 1997) and Overhespen, in Germany the LBK  has been established at the Aldenhover Platte ( Merzbachtal, Lüning/ Stehli 1994), older excavations at Lamersdorf ( 1965 - 1968, Lüning, 1982). The  LBK migrated from South Limburg into the Hesbaye region about 5150 BC, ongoing to  East Brabant and the region of the sources of the
Dender in Western Hainaut ( Hauzeur, 1987). Here, groups of The Blicquy have had contact with the LBK inhabitants  of the Hesbaye ( Jadin et al 1989).In the Walloon part we find a large LBK settlement -site at Anixhe / Tilice (J).
In the southern part of South Limburg sherds and flint of the LBK  were found near Rijckholt, showing dwelling activities, searching for flint.For the LBK in a wider region  Rijckholt flint was a common source where the flint type was found at The Aldenhover Platte in Germany (  Reepmeyer, C, Classen E., Zimmermann A, 2012).
Fragment of a polished adze made of amphibolite , found near Eckelrade
Image: Arbannig

The LBK was not the only culture present  in South Limburg during the Early Neolithic.
Also the presence of the cultures of "La  Hoguette" ( defined by Jeunesse, 1987)  and  of the  "Limburg" -group ( defined by Modderman 1970) were established in the region. The first culture is named after the type site in France ( see location in Google Maps), and mainly the sherds have been  found with great regularity  in association with the LBK. La Hoguette is mainly known for its distinctive pottery, and appears to be a derivative of the Ibero Italian-Eastern Adriatic Impressed Cardial Ware culture (Cardium Pottery, with imprints made by the shell Cardium edulis, image) . The La Hoguette group is also expected to be the cultural carrier of what is called  "pottery of the  Begleitkeramik" ( Jeunesse 1994, Brounen 1999). The sherds usually were found in waste pits from the oldest LBK phase. The  Hoguette Culture is placed in an earlier arrival at 5500 -5600 BC; by  Gronenborn and  Jeunesse as they are convinced of this earlier arrival (Jordan, Zvelebil , 2010).  The "Limburg" cultural group also is known by its pottery and the typical sherds appear in the waste pits of the LBK.Flint tools from these groups show a "Montbani retouch", as established on regular thin blades, wide residual striking surfaces with a careful, intensive dorsal reduction (1968a Rozoy). This Montbani- style retouch is characterized as an  irregular, flat to sloping retouch which a notched or toothed board (Rozoy 1968b). For an image of a drawing of artifacts with such retouch: see e.g.  the figure in article of  J.G. Rozoy. Asymmetric trapezes do occur, and points have big similarities with LBK- points, witnessing the Retouch Plate Inverse,( Jeunesse 2001).

 Diagnostic LBK point, found in the Belgian Hesbaye region, with bifacial retouch and hollow, retouched base. This point was found and photographed by Mr. Jean-Jo Paquay.

A well known find location ( 'pure site' of La Hoguette is at  Sweikhuizen  -De Hej  (L) near Schinnen, where a find location was detected not far from a LBK settlement (Modderman 1987). This site was possibly a pre -Bandkeramik site (Brounen et al. 2011) Most sites belonging to  La Hoguette, are found in the sandy region of Middle Limburg ( Kesseleik (M), Echt-Annendal, association with LBK),
The LBK Culture ends rather quickly at ca 4950 BC. The cause of this is unknown. Massacres like at Schletz in Lower Austria ( Wild et al ,1961) have not been established in the region..Right before the disappearance of the LBK , a large expansion took place, not only in South Limburg, but also in the adjacent Rhine valley.(Kooijmans, 1993). This period coincides with changes in the Rhine valley, where the Grossgartach Culture arises, a transition between LBK- Grosgartach, with quite different characteristics in the material culture. This would be a reason of the end of the LBK, but it is still unknown how the new migration of the Rössen culture would fit in this picture.  The neighboring groups of  the De Blicquy Group, known from the south and western parts of Belgium, are not detected in the South Limburg area ( Kooijmans, 2009).They dissappear with the LBK around 4900 BC., leaving a large gap in habitation of the region  (Vanmontfort, 2007)
Clearing the forest is one thing, but it is difficult to do this without burning,  when you do not have the proper tools to keep it open. The burning of the forest by farmers could have been a  reason why the LBK left the region, because of the opposite interests between the farmers and the local hunter -gatherers. Image: Arbannig
Overview of  investigated  most important LBK settlements / locations in the region:
Berg aan de Maas-Pastoor Eijckstraat, 
Elsloo -Koolweg
Elsloo- Joannes Riviusstraat
Geleen-Centraal Laboratorium, 
Geleen -Janskamperveld
Kelmond- Beekerveld
Kelmond- Zonneveld
Maastricht -Cannerberg
Maastricht -St. Christoffelplein
Sittard Rijksweg-Zuid
Sittard -Tienbunder
Stein -Keerender Kerkweg
Migration of the LBK, from the South of Germany ( out of the "Flomborn"LBK ), following the Rhine up to Cologne, spreading into Limburg, the Belgian Hesbaye. Another group headed west by the river Moselle and ended up in the Paris Basin, around 5000 BC. Image: Arbannig

Typo-chronological determinants for surface finds of the Neolithic periods in South -Limburg(left: pottery design; middle: flint points; right: axe type. image: Arbannig

 Below: 4 images of typical Linear Band Keramik shards from a private collection from the Belgian Hesbaye region.

Early Neolithic B The Rössen Culture (Rössen Planig- Friedberg) ( 4700- ca 4300 BC)
This culture is spread into South Limburg from Germany but  we do not find it in Belgium or France.The Rhineland became reoccupied during the existence of the Grossgartach culture, probably this culture came from  Southwest Germany (succeeding the Hinkelstein Group, known for yielded, perforated wedges (Spats 1999)). In Germany there is a continuity between the Planig -Friedberg and the Rössen Culture ( (Dohrn-Ihmig 1983).  In Dutch Limburg, the Rössen Culture occurs when the culture already has developed itself  in the Rhineland ( ca.4700 BC). The gap between the LBK and Rössen culture has been discussed by Vanmontfort (2007)
In South Limburg we only have one real Rössen excavation, at Maastricht -Randwyck (K). Here, in the Maas- valley seven waste pits were excavated  during a quick excavation in 1988. Determination of the pottery sherds could place the waste material in the Rössen period, Aldenhoven 1 (N)(Jürgens 1979).
The flint in the pits was original from a  source near Rullen (Belgium , which was remarkable, as this is 15 km, while the  Ryckholt Flint Mines only are a few kilometers from this location).
Tools from this period: scrapers, small knives for sickles, hammer-stones. The tool production took place at the settlement.
The flint - tools from the Rössen Culture have a great similarity with the tools from the previous Band- ceramic Culture, and, moreover do have a direct similarity with Mesolithic tools ( trapezes, tools made on micro-blades, Wommersom quartzite)
Blades are taller ( and more thin) and the blade -cores have a more regular form. Points have symmetric triangle shapes, with surface retouch. Small trapeze shaped sickle knives are highly standardized. In the Rhine area these knives came from Rullen (P)( yellow and brown colored flint  were preferred ).
Generally the Rössen Cutlure is in the South Limburg area rather invisible and not well known: in Tertstraten (O) a small group of flint artifacts was found that has been attributed to the Rössen culture by the fact they were made out of Rullen -flint. The find locations of this culture are different than the former LBK, as they are located at the lower river terraces.  The occurrence of the Rössen -Culture in South -Limburg is contemporary with the Swifterbant- culture in the northern part of The Netherlands.

Neolithic semi -finished flint axe, found at the plateau of Fourons, made of local Maastrichtian  flint. -type. This flint axehead  from the Late Neolithic is thought to be from the Michelsberg Culture. ( 3) Image: Arbannig Collection Neolithic

Middle Neolithic A The Michelsberg Culture (MK)  (MK I-  MK V) (4200 - 3600 BC)
The Michelsberg Culture (MK) has developed from the Rössen -Culture and originally this culture was found in the Parish basin area, which has been  possibly the Bischheim group.The period of the Michelsberg Culture can be divided into 5 different phases based on the typology of the pottery (Lüning 1968 , Höhn 1998) .
 MK1 4200 -  4075 BC
 MK2 4075-  3950 BC
 MK 3 3950 - 3870 BC
 MK 4 3870 -3700 BC
 MK5 3700 - 3600 BC

The MK is a widly spread Culture of  Central and North Western Europe. Regional MK groups are known from

 the French Alsace and the German Baden( the Münzinger- group) (Jeunesse 1989),  in the northeast of  Switzerland  we find  the Pfynergroup  (Schlichtherle 1990) and  in Lorraine we find the Noveantgroup (Guillaume 1978)..

 An important excavation of the MK took place at Heerlen - Schelsberg (Q)(MK2-3a)( Schreurs & Brounen 1998). Here some type of fortification was found, consisting  of earth - works and ditches.In the flint assemblages a lot of debitage waste occurred (= production in the settlement)  The tools found in the filled ditches are pointed blades, arrow tips, and core-blades  and small axes, sometimes polished . Part of the material most likely has been mined in Valkenburg and Rijckholt, but also terrace flint ( rolled flint from the Maas river) has been used.Another important excavation was carried out at Maastricht -Vogelenzang (MK1) demonstrating the quick expansion of the Michelsberg Culture from France
The MK exploited theregional  flint mines of Rijckholt and Valkenburg. Here we find large extraction fields.( Felder et al 1998, Brounen & Ploegaert 1992). The Michelsberg -Culture started ( at MK3) with the large extraction of flint, at the Lousberg (Aachen) this was in an open air system, in Rijckholt finally by underground mining activities.These activities were ongoing till after the rising of the Stein/ Vlaardingen groups (De Grooth 1998, Felder & Rademakers 1998).

Like the LBK made pottery, the undecorated, pointy based characteristic tulip beakers.As a temper, they used small pieces of  flint., together with  pieces of  broken quartz and sand(  maybe this is why we find often broken quartz pieces together with flint - tool concentrations in the field). Most tools were however produced by local flint, that occurred in eroded hill slopes (eluvial flint). The flint cores of the MK are rather irregular. At almost every find spot of the MK we find pointed blades, combination -tools ( e.g. scraper/ drill) , (polished) axes, drills, and truncated carved stone artifacts. It is most possible, the grindstones of Slenaken and Mechelen were ised by the MK for grinding axes.
The Rijckholt flint has been distributed  to the adjacent areas, like the western part of  The Netherlands, The German regions Baden- Württemberg  and Nedersachsen. Imported from other regions are the pointed blades. They are made of tertiary flint  possibly from the French Romigny-Lhéry (near  Reims)(Allard 2005, Bostyn 1992).In Belgium, contemporary mining took place at Spiennes, but for the South Limburg region only the Belgian  flint sources directly at the Maas- river were important ( St. Pietersberg ! and St. Pietersberg 2 Visé Caestert / Visé -Lanaye-Heyoul) and the flint mines of Rullen. Lousberg flint mainly was exported to the sandy region of Middle -Limburg, for example the ax of  Born-Buchten.

Middle  Neolithic B   Stein-group /S .O.M. Culture (3450- 2600 BC) 
The Stein Group ( name of this group given by Kooijmans)  exhibits very clear similarities with the Seine-Oise-Marne culture and Gord group in France , and has distinctive  similarities with contemporary groups from Belgium and Germany . Between the Late Michelsberg MK5 and the early Stein Group period is a hiatus. Maybe there is a connection with the Hazendonk 3 groups, because  some finds in Limburg have been attributed tothis group (  Amkreutz & Verhart 2006).

In this period, (Middle Neolithic B -Late Neolithic A),  the flint mines were further used as raw material supply for the tools. Formerly ( ca. 5000 - 3500 BC )  the flint mines were used in open air, providing a less quality flint. The Flint Mine Complex of Ryckholt  for example has been used between 3500 BC and 2600 BC, corresponding the whole period of the Stein- group .The human skull, found in the mine has an estimated age of 5000 BP. would have belonged to the period of the first underground miners (ca 3000 BC). In Beek, a grave tomb  belonging to the Stein- group has been found, dated to ca 3000 BC, where the cremated remains of 30 persons were established.
The Stein -group tool types are best known from excavations like at Stein, Ittervoort, Maastricht-Randwyck, etc. .

For images (drawings) of flint tools from the Stein Group , found in Noord Brabant, see Een Middenneolithisch nederzettingsterrein en een kuil van de Stein – Groep op de voormalige Kraaienberg bij Linden, GemeenteBeers (N-Br.) PDF page 84-87. In the tool spectrum we find projectile points, flake scrapers, blade scrapers, bifacially retouched flakes,  burins, axes, pointed blades ( Spitzklingen), made of flint from Rijckholt, Rullen,Orsabch , Belgian grey, Valkenburg and from fluvial flint from the Meuse river. This indicates all well known flint sources were used simultaneously during this period. Tools made of basanite, quartzite, quartzite- sandstones, Revinian-quartzite and quartz. Quartz is preferred for the production of tools ( Kooijmans, Verhart 2007).
Typical points for this culture are the winged points with surface retouch.The Stein group is a simultaneously living southern counterpart of the Vlaardingen Culture in the northern and western parts of The Netherlands.

The relation with the surrounding areas of South Limburg.
The LBK of South Limburg is a part of a large spread culture. In Belgium the logic continuation of the LBK in the loess area is of some younger date than in South Limburg ( it arrived ca 150 years later in Belgium).
The Blicquy -group [in fact : Blicquy-Villeneuve-Saint-Germain.] is defined for the region of  the sources of the Jeker/ Geer affluent of the Maas/ Meuse, but not ( yet)  in South Limburg.( Burnez-Lanotte, Caspar 1996). This is a remarkable thing:: obvious the Maas/ Meuse river area was some sort of a frontier of their  territory like the Mehaigne river was the possible southern boundary of the LBK for the Hesbaye region.

 Image above: Small handaxe, surface find in the Hesbaye -region by Mr. Jean-Jo Paquay. The axe is probably made of phtanite ( compare with the image here, from the Tongeren museum, handaxe in phtainite, [website of Erfgoedplus. be]  dated  5300 -4800 BC. Phtanite was a commonly used raw material in the Belgian Hesbaye and the Dutch South Limbyrg area.  It is quit well possible the handaxe above was originally much longer but has broken and re- hafted  ( notch at the bottom), compare with Bakels, 2008, pp.75 fig 21.

The LBK used different types of raw materials for their tools. The North western LBK used the cretaceous flint from The Belgian Hesbaye (local open air flint mines, mainly eluvium flint) , the region of South Limburg ( flint mine of Banholt) , and the German Aldenhover Platte ( flint mine of Banholt) . Amphibolite was used generally for the production of adzes, and was derived from the Middle European Mountain region ( Bakels, 2008).Quartzite ( de Horion- Hozémon, west of Liege, Bakels, 2008), basalt ( from the Eifel region)  and lydite was used for heavy duty tools. (Bakels, 2008,  De Grooth & Verwers,1984).At Wange (B) an atelier has been discovered where phtanite adzes were produced, from the phtanite of  Ottignies.( see archeobase,  phtanite d'Ottignies), see Caspar 1982, Hofman & Bickle 2009). Phtanite of Ottignies and Céroux- Mousty (O.C.M phtanite) was already known and used in the north and north east of Belgium during the Mesolithic and the use of it can be regarded as a continuation during the Neolithic (Caspar, 1984)  Shale and basalts were taken from the German Rhine region, chert from the German/ French Moselle region and phtanite from the Belgian Hainaut ( see image above) . It is remarkable that flint from the Hesbaye/ Limburg region was found in regions of northern  France, like the Champagne (Hesbaye flint) , and the region of Metz ( Hesbaye, Rijckholt flint). This diffusion in flint in the wider region might be regarded as social interactions, maintaining interregional relations between the groups of the LBK ( Schimmelpfennig, Zeeb- Lanz  et al 2009, Zimmermann 1995). In the LBK sites of France, The Netherlands and  Germany, non LBK -ceramic has been found in the types of La Hoguette, Limburg et "Begleitkeramik"( Brounen & Hauzeur 2010, Crombé 2009). the Hoguette ceramics has been found in the oldest LBK sites and could have been preceded the LBK. This contrary to the Limburg ceramics that have been traced especially in younger LBK settlements (Van der Sloot et al, 2003). It is assumed this pottery was made by Mesolithic hunter- gatherer groups, this would reflect a possible interface between the Mesolithic and Neolithic period. The locations where the Hoguette and Limburg ceramic is made  however is unknown.
The pottery of the LBK in South Limburg and the Belgian Hesbaye region is quite the same, showing the intense relations between the two areas in the period 5300 - 5200 BC. In Waremme Lonchamps, some kind of "hybrid" sherds have been found with characteristics of both the LBK and the Limburg ceramics. In the production of blades the LBK shows big homogeneity. Blades with a length of ca 8-11 cm were produced from special cores that were prepared with a platform. Another debitage technique is a flake - blade  technique, producing both flakes and blades. One of the shapes is an orange slice form blade, the other are called "frites".
The orange slice blades, used as a sort of backed knives,  are mainly found in Belgium, but are also found in South- Limburg near Banholt  and Eckelrade (observations by the  author).

Orange slice - shape flint tool from the Hesbaye region. This type of tools, often also bifacial retouched at the edge, is typical in LBK assemblages in the Hesbaye region and in Dutch South Limburg. (Find and image by Mr. Jean-Jo Paquay) 

 Orange slice - shape flint tool from the region of St. Geertruid. Image: Arbannig

The flint from the Meuse region has been spread to the southern and eastern regions of Trèves and Metz , Wetterau, Palatinat, Luxembourg, Westphalia. (Allard 2005 , Zimmermann 1995, Robinson 2010 Schimmelpfennig 2012). At the Belgian site of Verlaine ( province of Liege) overproduction of blades was intended for the extra-regional need of flint tools. (Allard 2005).
An important excavation for the transition between Mesolithic and Neolithic has been carried out at Dilsen- Dilserheide in Belgium, just at the other side of the Meuse river.
At this location  located not far from a ( former) spring, Middle - Neolithic pottery was detected in a Late- Mesolithic site.(Luypaert, De Bie, Vermeersch 1994). Flint tools, found at the site  were made out of fluvial flint pebbles ( probably from the Middle terraces) and were knapped at the site: a lot of small debitage cores ( for both flakes and small blades) were found .In the lithic assemblage, 30 % consisted of microliths ( points with unretouched and retouched base, backed blades, triangles, trapezes), 2 % of quartz. In the assemblage, Neolithic blades and points also occur. The pottery found together with some Neolithic flint tools in the Late Mesolithic site is a bottle -shaped MK beaker. The finds of these MK artifacts does not imply a proper settlement ( (Luypaert, De Bie, Vermeersch 1994).   This is very interesting, as here is an example of the continuing co- existing Mesolithic during the Middle -Neolithic in the Belgian Kempen area.( around 4500 - 4000 BC). On the other hand, one could argue that  there could have been a clearing of an old Mesolithic site by later Neolithic people..., as the site is located at a desired location, a spring (....with great similarity with finds at Daer ( Scotland) see the article at the website of  biggar archaeological group .

In South Limburg, no Mesolithic sites have been excavated. Information about Mesolithic presence only can be proved by surface finds, often 'polluted' with tools from the  Neolithic . Image: assumed Mesolithic retouched bladelets and implements ( drills, backed knives)  from Mesolithic hunter -gatherers, left near  Rijckholt at St. Geertuid. Image: Arbannig

Polish stones ( top) and a setup of a small neolithic axehead ( middle) and a large polish stone ( bottom) from the Michelsberg Culture, found at Banholt. The eluvium type flint from surface mining areas like Banholt was used till the rise of the S.O.M. Culture; another reason to use the Banholt flint , was , like the Valkenburg flint, this flint type is very suitable for the making of axe heads.

The transition between the Neolithic and the Bronze Age 

The Neolithic officially ends at 2600 BC, while the Bronze Age officially starts at ca 1800 BC. The Vlaardingen Culture co- exists with the Stein Group, that disappears around 2900 BC ( Kooijmans 2006).
 This means the real Vlaardingen sites are found in the Dutch west-coast area and the main Meuse Rhine delta in the centre of The Netherlands.(Verhart, in: Gijn, 1990). For the specific period during the existence of the Stein Group, there is lacking much information, especially  the embedding in the large archaeological pattern.(Van Hoof & Van Wijk 2005). For example, in Sittard - Hof van Limburg, a pit was found, filled with sherds, some charcoal and a carbonized haselshell. The fill of the pit was dated between  2885- 2496 BC.
At 2400 BC the Beaker Cultures appear, and at ca 2350 - 2000 BC the Veluwe type occurs both in northern and southern parts of The Netherlands.
The transition between Neolithic and Bronze age has been a very slow, gradually process, where stone tools for daily tasks and flint for hunting was absolutely not exceptional.A great example of this continuous use of stone age technology is demonstrated at a Bronze Age site ( Ha- A2 /B1, ca 1100- 800 BC)  at Dilsen in Belgium,  where the stone age tool- technology  still was applied for the making of tools ( flint,  quartz, quartzite), in a total absence of any bronze objects. Obviously bronze was not an utilitarian object, but had to do with prestige.(Van Impe, Creemers, 1993).

  The Neolithic is the period of pottery. Stone age sherds are hard to find. Image: a possible Neolithic sherd ( top middle) amongst Bronze Age sherds from the sandy Middle Limburg region.In the loess belt, sherds usually are absent. Image: Arbannig collection Bronze age

Notes from the text

(1)  The LBK Culture stayed in the region between 5400- 4950 BC, leaving a gap in the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition between 4900 BC and 4300 BC, when the Michelsberg - culture was present in the Region. In a brief overview:
(2) see for example: M. Gurova & C. Nachev ( 2008) Formal early Neolithic flint toolkits: 
(3) Late Neolithic flint axes are not to be put in the right chronology by the shape.See: Jür­gen wei­ner, Neo­li­thi­sche Beilklin­gen aus Feu­er­stein, in Floss (Ed).   : Stein­ar­te­fakte vom Alt­pa­läo­li­thi­kum bis in die Neu­zeit, Tübin­gen 2012, Kerns Ver­lag, S.  833, Lutz Fied­ler, 1979, pp 126


Early Neolithic:
Baalen et al (2007)  An early Middle Palaeolithic site at Kesselt Op-de -Schans (Belgian Limburg) Preliminary results PDF NP 27, 19-26
Burnez-Lanotte L. , Caspar J.P. (1996)  Groupe de Blicquy-Villeneuve-Saint-Germain, nouveaux outils : le grattoir-herminette et le foret  Bulletin de la Société préhistorique française  Vol.   93   Issue   2   pp. 235-240

For an interesting article about unusual finds of a large pic in a burial of the Blicquy-Villeneuve-Saint-Germain, see " A possible Early Neolithic amputation at Buthiers-Boulancourt (Seine-et-Marne),France"by  Cécile Buquet-Marcon, Philippe Charlier & Anaïck Samzun, Antiquity 83- 322, 2009
Reepmeyer, C, Classen E., Zimmermann A. (2012 ) ‘Bandkeramik' stone tool production and social network analysis: a case study; in Keeping your Edge: Recent Approaches to the Organisation of Stone Artefact Technology; Archaeopress
Salavert (A.2011),  Plant economy of the first farmers of central Belgium (Linearbandkeramik, 5200–5000 BC.) Vegetation history and archaeobotany  Vol. 20, Nr 5 321-332
Vanmontfort, B.  L. P. Louwe Kooijmans, L. Amkreutz, L. Verhart ; (2011)  Pots, Farmers and Foragers: How Pottery Traditions Shed a Light on Social Interaction in the Earliest Neolithic of the Lower Rhine Area;  Amsterdam University Press. 
Archaeologicaland  sedimentological aspects; in  Geoarchaeology and Archaeomineralogy ( Eds. R. I. Kostov, B. Gaydarska, M. Gurova), from Bulgaria, the home - region of the Linear Pottery Culture.
Linear PotteryCulture  ca 5400 - 4900 BC. The Neolithic in the Netherlands started with the first farmers. There are grave finds and traces of farms on the loess plateau in South Limburg. The plough was unknown  . The hunting was their main producer for meat. (They are thus comparable to the PPNA culture in the Near East).
Bandkeramiek blog . Hidden treasures of Dutch Bandkeramic Research. Many articles, information, references. Partially in Dutch and English
Middle Neolithic
Michelsberg Culture  
ca 4250 - ... BC. in Belgium and South Limburg. Derived from the Linear Pottery Culture LBK
Kooijmans L.P.. L –( 1981) Rijckholt-type flint and the Michelsberg Culture in the Dutch River District. Offprint from: Staringia no. 6, pp. 105-106

Funnel Beaker Culture (TRB culture)  
ca. 3400 - 2900 BC. in Drenthe. They built dolmens.
Vlaardingen Culture 
around 3500 BC. - 2500 BC. In the west of the Netherlands, these remains were found.

Late Neolithic
Pedestal Beaker Culture arises from the Funnel Beaker Culture.

Beaker Culture  
ca 2700 - 2100 BC., Arose from the pedestal cup culture. This culture was on the transition between the late Neolithic and Copper Age.
Part of the Seine-Oise-Marne culture ca. 3500 - 2500 BC. in the Ardennes of Belgium, they also built megaliths (dolmens).Grave tombe in Stein: Neolithische grafkelder in Stein
Useful information for visiting the underground Rijckholt Flint Mines at Rijckholt
Drenth E. D. R., Heijmans H. & Keijers D., 2003. Sporen van de Stein-groep te Ittervoort, gemeente Hunsel, provincie Limburg, Nederland. Notae Praehistoricae, 23/2003 : 135-140, in:  PDF 
Furholt, M; ( 2011)  A Virtual and a Practiced Neolithic? Material Culture

Informatiebulletin Stichting Streekarcheologie Peel, Maas& Kempen 13e jaargang nr. 2 december 2003
Hoof L.van (2007)  Evaluatievan het onderzoek naar de late prehistorie in Limburg sinds 1995 PDF

Kooijmans L.P. L.  & Verhart, L B M  Een Middenneolithisch nederzettingsterrein eneen kuil van de Stein – Groep op de voormalige Kraaienberg bij Linden, GemeenteBeers (N-Br.) PDF; in : Oudheidkundige Mededelingen uit het Rijksmuseum van Oudheden te Leiden, 70, 49 - 108 (1990)
Modderman, P.J.R., (1964): The neolithic burial vault at Stein. Analecta Praehistorica Leidensia 1, 3-16

Vandkilde, H (2005) A Review of the Early Late Neolithic Period in Denmark: Practice, Identity and Connectivity PDF

Swifterbant culture (outline of Late Swifterbant Culture by DCM Raemaekers( ca. 5300 - 3400 BC. the Vecht. Related to the Ertebøllecultuur. Around 4800-4500 BC. found the transition from hunter-gathering to farming. From 4300 BC transition to agriculture.

General links:  
See also ARBANNIG artefacts from the wider region (Lorraine, F)  
Publications -page of  Leiden University  ( artefact studies)
Arbannig collection online Neolithic ( images from south Limburg and adjacent area) 

Images of Neolithic artifacts - general:
The museum of Thanets archaeology : virtual museum Neolithic
World Museum of Man Egyptian Neolithic collection 
Finds UK: Neolithic

Images of Neolithic artifacts on  Dutch websites:
Jan F. Kloosterman De IJstijden, 
The coinhunter bodemvondsten
Rijksmuseum voor oudheden collectie(s)
Heemkunde Denekamp 
Thuis in Brabant boeren Nieuwe steentijd
H. Schmitz Archeologieposterholt
Images of Neolithic artefacts on Belgian websites
Victor Strijbos: Archeologische vondsten Neerpelt e.o. 
Images of Neolithic artefacts on German  websites
Katzman: Aggbach's palaeolithic Blog 

Literature and internet references about the Neolithic in The Netherlands - general information:

Bunnik, F.P.M. (1995) Pollenanalytische Ergebnisse zur Vegetations- und Landwirtschaftsgeschichte der Jülicher Lössbörde : von der Bronzezeit bis in die frühe Neuzeit = Pollen Analysis Results Concerning the History of Vegetation and Agriculture in the Jülich Loess Plain : from the Bronze Age to Early Modern Times; Bonner Jahrbücher des Rheinischen Landesmuseums in Bonn und des Rheinischen Amtes für Bodendenkmalpflege im Landschaftsverband Rheinland und des Vereins von Altertumsfreunden im Rheinlande 1995, vol. 195, pp. 313-349 (3 p.1/2)
Cappers R. T. J,.&  D. C. M. Raemaekers ( 2008) Cereal cultivation at Swifterbant? Current Anthropology 49: 3 pp :385-402.
Kooijmans L.P.L. . (2007) The gradual transition to farming in the Lower Rhine Basin.Proceedings of the British Academy 144: pp 287-309.
Kooijmans L.P.L, ( 1980) Archaeology and Coastal Change in the Netherlands. Pp. 106-133 in Archaeology and Coastal Change, ed. F.H. Thompson. Society of Antiquaries, London. 
Out,  W. A( 2008)  Growing habits? Delayed introduction of crop cultivation at marginal Neolithic wetland sites. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 17 pp 131-138. 

Literature and internet references about the Neolithic of South Limburg (NL)/ Belgium/ Germany  :

Allard P.  (2005) L'industrie lithique des populations rubanées du nord-est de la France et de la Belgique. Rahden/West, VLM Verlag Marie Leidorf GmbH, (Internationale Archäologie n°86).
Amkreutz, L. &  Verhart L.  (2006) De Hazendonkgroep en het midden-neolithicum van Limburg, Archeologie in Limburg 104, 10-17.

Amkreutz, L. & R. Corbey (2008) An eagle-eyed perspective. Haliaeetus albicilla in the Mesolithic and Neolithic of the Lower Rhine Area, In: H. Fokkens, B.J. Coles, A.L. van Gijn, J.P. Kleijne, H.H. Ponjee & C.G. Slappendel (eds.), Between foraging and farming. An extend broad spectrum of papers presented to Leendert Louwe Kooijmans. (: Analecta Praehistorica Leidensia nt. 40) Leiden, pp 167-180.
Amkreutz, L.W.S.W. (2008) Negotiating Neolithisation. A long-term perspective on Communities in the process of Neolithisation in the Lower Rhine Area (6000-2500 cal BC). PhD diss. Leiden University.
Amkreutz, L.W.S.W. & B.L.L. Vanmontfort  & L.B.M. Verhart, (2009) Diverging trajectories, forager-farmer interaction in the southern part of the Lower Rhine Area and the applicability of contact models', in D. Hoffman/P. Bickle (eds), New advances in Central European Neolithic Research, Oxford: Oxbow Books.
H.T. Waterbolk (1994) Opgravingen in het vuursteenmijnbouw gebied Rijckholt-St. Geertuid, Zuid-Limburg; Archeologie in Limburg 61, pp 33- 52
Aouweneel A. (2009-2012) Nederlandse prehistorie :De bandkeramische cultuur (in Biografie, Kunst en Cultuur)
Bakels .C.C. (1982) The settlements system of the Dutch Linear Bandkeramik in Analecta Praehistorica Leidensia  15, 31-43
Bakels,C.C.  (1990): The crops of the Rössen culture: significantly different from their Bandkeramik predecessors - French influence?. In: M. Otte & D. Cahen (dir.), Rubané et Cardial ( = Études et Recherches Archéologiques de l’Université de Liège 39), Liège, 83-87.
Bakels, C.C( 2008)  On the adzes of the Northwestern Linearbandkeramik pdf   Analecta Praehistorica Leidensia 20
Barton,R. N. E,  (Red.) .MJLTh Niekus, M. Street & Th. Terberger (2012) A Mind Set on Flint: Studies in Honour of Dick Stapert,  Groningen University Library Groningen Archaeological studies volume 16. Google ebooks limited version
Brounen F.T.S, & H. Vromen (1990 ) A find of La Hoguette pottery at Geleen (South-Limburg, the Netherlands), Helinium 29, 36-43.
Brounen F.T.S & P. Ploegaert (1992) A tale of the unexpected: Neolithic shaft mines at Valkenburg aan de Geul (Limburg, The Netherlands), Analecta Praehistorica Leidensia 25, 189-223.
Brounen T.S. Drenth E  , Scheurs  J,(2011) A find of La Hoguette pottery and Begleitkermaik in the dutch province of Limburg  in: Vanmortfort:/ Kooijmans, Armkreutz / Verhart: Pots, Farmers and Foragers: How Pottery Traditions Shed a Light on Social Interaction in the Earliest Neolithic of the Lower Rhine Area  pp. 105 -(Amsterdam University Press)
Caspar, J.P. (1982) L'exploitation du phtanite d'Ottignies et Mousty et sa distribution    Notae Praehistoricae 2 pp. 63-82
Caspar, J.P. (1984) Matériaux lithiques de la préhistoire ;in: peuples chasseurs de la belgique préhistorique dans leur cadre naturel : chap nr 11; ed. Cahen & Haesaerts, Patrimoine de l'institut royal de Sciences naturelles de Belgique, Bruxelles

Coudart, A. (1998)  Architecture et société néolithique, l’unité et la variance de la maison danubienne Paris CNRS, Maison des Sciences de l ‘Homme
De Grooth M. E. ThHet midden Neolithicum in Zuid-Nederland  in : ( 2005)  De Steentijd van Nederland (red.  J. Deeben, E. Drenth, M-F. van Oorsouw, L. Verhart), Archeologie 11/12   pp 283 e.v. Sribd viewer
De Grooth, M. Th. & Verwers, G.J. (1984) Op Goede gronden, dde eerste boeren in Noordwest Europa uitg. RMO Leiden
De Grooth M. Th (2007) De vroege Prehistorie PDF ( in Dutch)
Destexhe, G.  (1987) Les Omaliens: premiers agriculteurs hesbignons 5000 ans avant J.-C.
Dijkstra, P.  Martijn Bink, Marc De Bie, Geert Vyncker, Hadewych Van Rechem & Tina Dyselinck (2006)  Laatpaleolithische vindplaatsen op het Plinius-terrein bij Tongeren (prov. Limburg) PDF NP 26, pp 109-124
Engelen, H.De prehistorische mijnen van Valkenburg a/d Geul (Limburg) (website 2012)
Felder, P.J., P.C.M. Rademakers & M.E.Th. de Grooth (1998): Excavations of the prehistoric int mines at Rijckholt-St.Geertruid (Limburg, The Netherlands) by the “Prehistoric int mines working group” of the Dutch Geological Society ,Limburg section Bonn  (Archäologische Berichte 12)
Gijn, A.L. (1990) The late Neolithic Vlaardingen sites,   (8)

Groen L. J (2005)  De bandkeramische landbouwers van Elsloo (ARBAN - Paleoflor article  IVN Elsloo)
Hauzeur, A, (1987) Préhistoire de Belgique, No 2, les premiers agriculteurs en Belgique PDF ; ADJA, Association pour la Diffusion de l'Information Archéologique Asbl
Hauzeur, I. Jadin et C. Jungels.(Ed.) (2011)   5000 ans avant J.-C., la grande migration ? : le Néolithique ancien dans la collection Louis Éloy / sous la direction de A- Bruxelles : Ministère de la Communauté française. Direction de la culture. Service du patrimoine culturel, 
Hofmann, D &  P. Bickle  (2009) Creating communities:  new advances in Central European neolithic research;  Oxbow Books
Höhn, B. (2002): Michelsberger Kultur in der Wetterau.m Universitätsforschungen zur prähistorischen Archäologie  87. 

Jadin I.,. Keeley L. H,. , Cahen D & Gratia H. (1989) Omaliens et Blicquiens face à face ,  Fouille d’urgence d’un établissement et d’une sépulture du Groupe de Blicquy à Darion-Colia (Geer, prov. de Liège) Notae Praehistoricae n° 9 - 1989 : 61-68
Jeunesse, C. (2002): Armatures asymétriques, régionalisation, acculturation. Contribution à l’étude des reations entre le Rubané et la composante autochtone dans l’Ouest de la sphere danubienne. In : Préhistoire de la Grande Plaine du Nord de l’Europe Liège (ERAUL 99), 147-165

Jordan P, Zvelebil , M (2010)  Ceramics before farming, the dispersal of pottery among prehistoric Eurasian hunter- gatherers
Jürgens A. (1979) Die Rössener Siedlung von Aldenhoven, Kr. Puren. Rheinische Ausgrabungen, 19, 385 f.
Hofmann D. & Bickle P. (2009)  Creating Communities: New advances in Central European Neolithic Research.; Oxbow books; book review

Kooijmans L.P. L. (1993) ( article ) The Mesolithic /Neolithic transition in the Lower Rhine Basin
Kooijmans L.P. L.( 1988)  Een Rössen nederzetting teMaastricht Randwyck PDF, in: Notae Prahistoricae 8-1988 pp. 67-71
Kooijmans L.P. L.  The Neolithic at the Lower Rhine The structure in chronological and geological context PDF
Kooijmans L.P. L.( 1988)  Een Rössen nederzetting teMaastricht Randwyck PDF, in: Notae Prahistoricae 8-1988 pp. 67-71
Kooijmans L.P.L Tussen SOM en TRB, enige Gedachten over het Laat-Neolithicum in België en Nederland   (1983) Open access Rijksuniversiteit Leiden (pp 55-66) Atricle 
Lohof. E. & S. Wyns (met bijdragen van V.van Betuw, S.B.C. Bloo, L. Jacobs, J.J.W. de Moor & C. van Pruisen).( 2009) Beek Kerkeveld de periferie van een Bandkeramische nederzetting. Een Definitief Archeologisch Onderzoek. ADC ArcheoProjecten 1292
Lüning, J. Research into the Bandkeramik settlement of the aldenhover Platte in the Rhineland (1982) in: Prehistoric Settlement Patterns Around the Southern North Sea: Papers Presented at a Colloq[u]ium, Held in Honour of Professor Dr. P.J.R. Modderman, Leiden, 3-7 May 1982, pp 2
Lüning, J. (2005) Bandkeramische Hofplätze und absolute Chronologie der Bandkeramik, in:
Lüning, J., Chr. Frirdich, A.Zimmermann (Hrsg.), Die Bandkeramik im 21. Jahrhundert. (Internationale Archäologie: Arbeitsgemeinschaft, Symposium, Tagung, Kongress; Bd 7). Rahden/Westf., 49-75.
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Van der Sloot, P., Damblon, F., Debenham, N., Fechner, K., Gob, A., Haesaerts, P., Hauzeur, A., Jadin, I., Leotard, J., Remacle, M., Vanmontfort, B. (2003). Le Mésolithique et le Néolithique du site Saint-Lambert à Liège dans leur contexte chronologique, géologique et environmental. Synthèse des données et acquis récents. Notae Praehistoricae, 23, 79-104.

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Vynckier, G, Vanmontfort, B,&  Vanderbeken T (2009)
NP 29, 2009: 77-80
Vostrovska , I ( 2012) LBK houses and settlement area: a geophysical survey of ‘Sutny’ in Těšetice-Kyjovice, Czech Republic PDF
Van Wijk, I & Meurkens, L. Tussen Graetheide en Heeswater, Nieuw zicht op de bewoningsgeschiedenis van Caberg bij Maastricht (NL) PDF NP28 -73-86
Wild E. M. et al ( 1961)  Neolithic massacres: Local skirmishes or general warfare in Europe? University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA
Zeeb-Lanz A., R.-M. Arbogast,M. N. Haidle, Ch. Jeunesse, J. Orschiedt, D. Schimmelpfennig,  S. van Willigen ( 2009) The LBK settlement with pit enclosure at Herxheim near Landau (Palatinate). First Results. in: D. Hofmann and P. Bickle (eds.), Creating Communities. New Advances in Central European Neolithic Research,(Oxford 2009) pp 202-219.

Zimmermann A, (1995)  Austauschsysteme von Silexartefakten in der Bandkeramik Mitteleuropas: Von Andreas Zimmermann (Universitatsforschungen zur prahistorischen Archaologie) (German Edition)

Various internet pages on the subject:
Oud Caberg, continuiteit van bewoning ( article in Dutch)
Website Archeologische Vereniging Limburg 
Culture, Université de Liege 
Bilan rapport 2005Margraten Eckelrade-Linderweg

Neolithic open air flint mining at Halembaye (Belgium)
At Halembaye between Loën and Eben- Emael, we find Maas- oriented ditches in the forest, right above the level of the Albertkanaal. These pits are irregular shaped and small heaps of dumping ground show peole did not take out much, such as in case of digging up limestone or gravel.  What was taken out of the ditches were pieces of flint. Such opencast mines also were commun in Neolithic mine sites like  Spiennes in Belgium (1) and at the westside of the underground mines of Rijckholt, Netherlands. In England there's  the famous Grime's graves, Neolithic open air flint mining in over 400 pits.
How to distuinguish Neolithic open air flint mine activities?
Some indications of what might appear to be Neolithic open air flint mines
1) Small pits,always in the limestone bedrock (people were searching for silex)
2) Deposits of pulverised lime with pieces of silex, not far from the ditch, deposed at the lower side of the pit
3) Pits in an irregular pattern, at certain altitudes and levels
4) Often we might still  find natural ground stones used for decortification purposes
5) We might find  Neolithic tools or "tested cores", to find out whether the flint was of a certain quality, suitable for making tools
Neolithic point found near Aachen (D) made on local Orsbach flint type

Neolithic point, found at St. Martensvoeren (Fourons, B), made on local Rullen- flint

Bad quality Hesbaye flint for local use
In a quick experiment, it was obvious the quality was rather bad  and the mines probably were used for local use only 
A remarkable fact occurred during the experiments: the produced flakes did not show real bulbs or percussion rings, making them look like natural broken blades./ flakes....

More general  info on Neolithic flint mines

A Neolithic point from the the valley of the Ziepbeek (Kempen, Belgium)

Investigations on the possible presence of prehistoric sites in woodland areas usually do not give much artefacts, compared with surveying fields.
In the  valley of the Ziepbeek between Bessemer and Opgrimbie (Belgian Kempen) pieces of forest were cleared. A beautiful End-Neolithic point was found. ( time table by onderzoeksbalans be)
The point is patinated with a clear white patina, showing it has been exposed at the surface for a long period of time. Most likely this was the case in the long periods the Kempen was a heath area, without real forests.
The point has been bifacial retouched and has a hollow base, to shaft it on an arrow.
It's likely the point is lost by hunting activities, though it's not excluded such a beautiful arrow-point is left there for other reason (e.g. burial).

Brook-system in marshland
When we regard the elevation lines on the map, we can see the river Maas made real terraces in the Kempen area, just like in the Dutch South Limburg. The high terraces reach up to + 103 m and deposits of gravels could be found all over the place. During the Palaeolithic and the Mesolithic open sources were closer to the higher terrace edges, so probable camp sites could be expected here. The idea however is, the Ziepbeek and Asbeek area was mainly  used as a hunting area. Further to the south, in the region of Roelen and further south  we find the real settlements on the crossing of different soils.
Neolithic cores 
Lanaye flint type irregular blade  cores. Left top "core renewal"piece. Most cores are re- used, e.g. as a hammerstone.

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