Protected for millennia by the forest, a fortified Neolithic site of 25 hectares was the subject of the first excavations in the Pas-de-Calais after its recent discovery, we informed the archaeologist in charge of the operation. .
The site, in the national forest of Ohlain, could be protected as a historical monument, one after its discovery in the town of Fresnicourt-le-Dolmen. A find made “purely by chance” thanks to a lidar image (technique for measuring distance) offering an unprecedented overview of the topography of the forest floor, explains to AFP Gilles Leroy, study engineer of the Regional Directorate. cultural affairs.
“A unique state of conservation”
6,000 years old but never reoccupied after the Neolithic, the site is “in a unique state of conservation” which makes it “a kind of time capsule”, even if in the absence of later inhabitants, “the forest has it too damaged,” he says. Other sites of the same type found in France or more generally in western Europe suffered more damage, he underlines.
Its development, with a fortified belt 50 m wide composed of several rows of ditches and embankments, punctuated by entrances, mobilized a large community, believes Gilles Leroy.
If its “defensive function is not much debated”, the use that the Neolithic people made of it “remains a little nebulous”, at a time when men “are no longer hunter-gatherers and are beginning to settle down”, in a context of waves of migratory settlements and numerous conflicts. The first characterization excavations led to the discovery of archaeological furniture, cut flints, ceramics and sandstone objects, and numerous dating elements.