Valkenburg aan de Geul.
|Classification:||Stone Age Flint Mine|
|Guided tours:||self guided|
|Address:||Prehistorische Vuursteenmijnen te Valkenburg aan de Geul, Tel: +31-. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|3300 BC||flint mined during the Neolithic.|
|1992||discovered by Fred Brounen, Karen van der Graaf and amateur archaeologist Hub Pisters.|
|26-MAY-1999||designated a protected archaeological monument.|
|04-JUL-2003||monument opened to the public.|
The coarse grain of the material means that Valkenburg flint is fairly shock-resistant and therefore ideally suited for the manufacture of axes.
The Prehistorische Vuursteenmijnen te Valkenburg aan de Geul (prehistoric flint mines of Valkenburg aan de Geul) are the remains of a prehistoric mining operation. Flint in the limestone was found on the surface, but after collecting the loose flints they obviously noticed that there were more flints inside the rock. The quality of flint which is not subject to weathering is also much better, for obvious reasons. So it is actually easy to understand why they invested so much work in a mining operation.
The flint was quarried at various places in and around Valkenburg and on the western edge of the Plateau van Margraten, at Cadier en Keer, and the western wall of the Meuse valley. There are numerous known extraction sites, mostly filled in with soil which was washed in over millennia. But here at Plenkertstraat in Valkenburg the soil was washed out again, by erosion, and so the mine shafts became recognizable again. There are seven recognizable flint mines which formed the western end of a roughly 2 km long prehistoric extraction zone.
The site was developed with a walking trail with 7 light poles, along a 53 m long balustrade with timeline and explanatory signs. The development was financed by the municipality of Valkenburg, the then National Service for Archaeological Soil Research (ROB) and the European Interreg III fund.