Geologica Belgica

1374-8505

 

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Stéphane Pirson, Paul Haesaerts, Mona COURT-PICON, Freddy Damblon, Michel Toussaint, Nick Debenham & Christelle Draily

BELGIAN CAVE ENTRANCE AND ROCK-SHELTER SEQUENCES AS PALAEOENVIRONMENTAL DATA RECORDERS: THE EXAMPLE OF WALOU CAVE

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Mots-clés : lithostratigraphy, Belgium, palynology, Keywords. Upper Pleistocene, loess, tephrostratigraphy, pedogenesis, palaeoenvironment.

Abstract

Abstract. Despite abundant sites and numerous archaeological excavations, the knowledge of Belgian cave entrance and rock-shelter sequences is still poor from a geological point of view. A systematic program of detailed stratigraphic recordings associated with different analyses was recently undertaken in close collaboration with researchers from different disciplines. The objective was to better understand the sedimentary dynamics of these fillings and to test their potential as recorders of Quaternary climatic variations. The microstratigraphic study of the Walou Cave sequence illustrates this approach. Several clear climatic signals were identified. The validity of these signals and the type of environment were confirmed by palynology. Furthermore, tephrostratigraphy together with the excellent correlation with the loess sequence of Middle Belgium gave this exceptional recording a coherent chronostratigraphic context, supported by radiocarbon and thermoluminescence dates as well as archaeology and palaeontology. These results lead to interesting prospects for research work in this type of environment, e.g. understanding better the context of the numerous prehistoric occupations that distinguish Belgian caves.

To cite this article

Stéphane Pirson, Paul Haesaerts, Mona COURT-PICON, Freddy Damblon, Michel Toussaint, Nick Debenham & Christelle Draily, «BELGIAN CAVE ENTRANCE AND ROCK-SHELTER SEQUENCES AS PALAEOENVIRONMENTAL DATA RECORDERS: THE EXAMPLE OF WALOU CAVE», Geologica Belgica [En ligne], number 3-4 - Han-sur-Lesse Symposium - nov. 2004, volume 9 (2006), 275-286 URL : http://popups.ulg.ac.be/1374-8505/index.php?id=1277.

About: Stéphane Pirson

Institut royal des Sciences naturelles de Belgique, Département de Paléontologie, 29 rue Vautier, B-1000 Bruxelles, Belgium. E-mail: stef.pirson@skynet.be

About: Paul Haesaerts

Institut royal des Sciences naturelles de Belgique, Département de Paléontologie, 29 rue Vautier, B-1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

About: Mona COURT-PICON

Institut royal des Sciences naturelles de Belgique, Département de Paléontologie, 29 rue Vautier, B-1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

About: Freddy Damblon

Institut royal des Sciences naturelles de Belgique, Département de Paléontologie, 29 rue Vautier, B-1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

About: Michel Toussaint

Direction de l'Archéologie du Ministère de la Région wallonne, 1 rue des Brigades d'Irlande, B-5100 Namur, Belgium. E-mail: m.toussaint@mrw.wallonie.be

About: Nick Debenham

Quaternary TL Survey, 19 Leonard Avenue, Nottingham NGS 2LW, United Kingdom. E-mail: n.debenham@qtls.globalnet.co.uk

About: Christelle Draily

Découverte géologique de Comblain-au-Pont et environs, c/o Service de l'Archéologie, Ministère de la Région wallonne, 62 avenue des Tilleuls, B-4000 Liège, Belgium.