Trou Al'Wesse
Research team

Excavation history




Field school

Crew 2005

Crew 2007





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Welcome to the web site for the prehistoric site of Trou Al'Wesse (Belgium), which contains human occupations from the Mousterian, Aurignacian, Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. Here you will find information about the current archaeological research project directed by the Service of Prehistory at the University of Liège, supported by the Ministry of the Walloon Region.

The cave is located in the natural preserve of Modave, the property of Vivaqua and refuge for many rare or endangered species. The lesser horseshoe bat, of which there remain less than 100 in Belgium, hibernates in the cave, which is why a barrier has been erected at the cave entrance.

Since 2003, excavations have taken place on the terrace in front of the southwest-facing cave.  The terrace slopes down from the entrance, meeting the alluvial plain formed by the Hoyoux River. The Holocene sequence, containing Neolithic and Mesolithic occupations, will be completed in 2008; the Pleistocene sequence, with Aurignacian and Mousterian occupations, was begun in 2005 and is ongoing. In addition, the location of the tunnel dug by 19th century excavators from 1885-87 (Fraipont, Lohest and Braconnier) has been identified. The tunnel fill is currently being  removed and the tunnel structure recorded to document 19th-century excavation techniques.

To protect the flora and fauna of the preserve, the actual site is accessible only by guided visit during the Cultural Heritage Days or on specially organized days. We thus invite you to take a virtual visit of the site of Trou Al'Wesse by exploring this web site.


This project is supported by subsidies from the Ministère de la Région wallonne, Direction générale de l'Aménagement du Territoire, du Logement et du Patrimoine (subventions 02/16341, 03/15718, 04/15844, 05/13532, 06/15012, and 07/13629).

2003. Trench L-M (1988-2001) infilled with sand for security; excavations to right.

2004. Excavations to left of Trench L-M.

2005. General view of site from the Hoyoux River.

2006. General view of site.

2007. General view of site.

2007. View from above the cave, looking down on the alluvial plain and

the Hoyoux  River.

 (Photo: Patrick Miller)


Page created 19 October 2005

Updated 21 June 2008