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Assessment of the state of conservation of a Middle Neolithic flint mine in Maastricht limestone

R.P.J. van Hees1,2 , T.G. Nijland1
1 Conservation Technology group, TNO Built Environment and Geosciences, Delft, the Netherlands
2 R-MIT, Faculty of Architecture, TU Delft, the Netherlands

Upper Cretaceous Maastricht limestone ("mergel") outcrops in the provinces of Dutch and Belgian Limburg. The Upper Cretaceous in the Netherlands consists of the geological Maastricht Formation and the upper part of the Gulpen Formation. Limestones from the Maastricht Formation represent one of the few native Dutch natural stones used for building and construction. Locally, limestone from both formations contains considerable amounts of flint. This flint has been mined in Neolithic times, both from the Lanaye limestone in the Gulpen Formation and the Emael Limestone in the Maastricht Formation. Around the village of Valkenburg aan de Geul, flint was mined from the latter. In the current study, the state of conservation of a Middle Neolithic flint mine situated at the Plenkertweg in Valkenburg aan de Geul is assessed, 8 years after the site was discovered and exposed.

Key words: Maastricht limestone, mergel, flint mining, ancient mine, Neolithic, conservation, Valkenburg