Oldest grave in the Netherlands, from 7600 B.C., found in Noord-Brabant
It has just been announced that the oldest grave in the Netherlands was first discovered in 2017, in the Brabant town of Haps. The researchers took ample time to study the site closely and discovered that the grave is older than the oldest known grave to date.
The grave was discovered during archaeological research prior to construction work on a business park. Charcoal and bone remains of a child, who is predicted to have been about nine years old, were found in the grave. The child is thought to have been cremated and buried by their tribe between 7566 and 7582 B.C.
A grave in Rotterdam, the oldest up until now, is about 9,000 years old, a few centuries younger than the grave in Haps.
In addition to cremation remains, there were hazelnuts and flint fragments found in the grave. These were included with a view to the afterlife, according to project leader Tom Hos. "The deceased could make new tools in the afterlife with the flint. The hazelnuts were intended as food for the journey there."
Many hunters and gatherers roamed the region around Haps during the Stone Age, according to the archaeologist. During the excavations, more finds were made, such as arrowheads and burnt bones of deer and boar.
Hos admitted that publication was also delayed until the coronavirus measures were a thing of the past. "We were eager to share the results with a live audience." The official presentation is on April 20. The finds will soon be exhibited in Museum Ceuclum in Cuijk.
Reporting by ANP