The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Spiennes Flint Mines

Ancient Mine / Quarry

<b>Spiennes Flint Mines</b>Posted by ChanceImage © Scan by Peter Lewis - PD Wikimedia Commons
Latitude:50° 25' 50.8" N
Longitude:   3° 58' 43.6" E

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Unfortunately, the mines of Spiennes are now closed to the public until 2013.

This closure is due to the work being executed to build a totally new visitor center.
Chance Posted by Chance
9th March 2011ce

The Spiennes neolithic flint mines, in the municipality of Mons, province of Hainaut, are on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. They are described as "the largest and earliest concentration of ancient mines in Europe" and UNESCO cites the level of human technological development they demonstrate as justification for their inclusion.

The mines cover some 100 hectares of downland near Mons and are interesting for showing the transition between opencast and underground mining for the flint nodules. The nodules were extracted using deer antler picks. The stones were then knapped into rough-out shapes of axes, and finally polished to achieve the final state.

The rough-outs were traded over a wide area, and were often polished at their destination. Polishing strengthens the final product, making the axe-head last longer. The axes were used initially for forest clearance during the early Neolithic period, and for shaping wood for structural applications, such as timber for huts and canoes.
Chance Posted by Chance
9th March 2011ce


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Offical web site - English version

Chance Posted by Chance
9th March 2011ce

World Heritage Site Listing

Chance Posted by Chance
9th March 2011ce