For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-belgium
Abandoned for thousands of years, these extensive Stone Age mines in western Belgium were rediscovered in 1867 when excavation for a railroad line exposed the ancient network of underground galleries.
“The Neolithic flint mines at Spiennes, covering more than 100 ha, are the largest and earliest concentration of ancient mines in Europe. They are also remarkable for the diversity of technological solutions used for extraction and for the fact that they are directly linked to a settlement of the same period…. The site appears on the surface as a large area of meadows and fields strewn with millions of scraps of worked flint. Underground, the site is an immense network of galleries linked to the surface by vertical shafts dug by Neolithic populations…. The mines were in operation for many centuries and the remains vividly illustrate the development and adaptation of mining techniques employed by prehistoric populations in order to exploit large deposits of a material that was essential for the production of tools and cultural evolution generally.“ (UNESCO World Heritage Centre #1006)
World Heritage Sites are cultural or natural landmarks of international significance, selected for recognition by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. More than 1000 such sites have been recognized in over 160 countries, and we post one every Wednesday, drawn from one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week. You can find a complete list online at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and in Wikipedia.
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre also has a free and comprehensive World Heritage education kit for teachers and a wonderful full-color wall map of World Heritage Sites (available for the cost of shipping). Why not add them both to your own homeschool library. 🗺
What world treasures will you be exploring in your homeschool this week? 😊
❡ Books in the running brooks: You can always turn to your River Houses almanac, atlas, and history encyclopedia (riverhouses.org/books) for more information about any of our countries-of-the-week. The almanac has profiles of all the nations of the world on pages 745–852; the endpapers of the atlas are indexes that will show you where all of the individual national and regional maps may be found; the history encyclopedia includes national histories on pages 489–599; and you can find additional illustrations, flags, and other mentions through the indexes in each of these volumes. For an ideal little lesson, just write the name of the Weekly World Heritage Site on your homeschool bulletin board, find its location in your atlas, read UNESCO’s one-paragraph description aloud, look at a picture or two, and you’re done. Over the course of the year, without even realizing it, your students will absorb a wealth of new historical, geographical, and cultural information. 🇧🇪
❡ The great globe itself: This is one of our regular Homeschool States & Countries posts featuring historic sites of international importance. Download your own copy of our River Houses World Heritage Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us as we tour the planet, and add your name to our free weekly mailing list (riverhouses.org/newsletter) to get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🌍