Geoarchaeological research in Sandy Flanders (2008-2012)

Prehistoric settlement and land-use systems in Sandy Flanders: a diachronic and geo-archaeological approach.

The primary aim of the project seeked to evaluate in detail how and to which degree the palaeo-landscape determined the prehistoric occupation and exploitation within Sandy Flanders, starting from the Late Glacial till the beginning of the Roman period. Furthermore, significant emphasis was placed on the impact of prehistoric populations on both regional and local landscapes. Achievement of these research objectives required a large-scale and multidisciplinary approach, aimed at reconstructing the former landscape components such as topography, vegetation and hydrology on a detailed geographical and diachronic scale. The aim was to construct diachronic landscape models based on the simulation of various kinds of environmental evidence in relation to the archaeological, more specifically prehistoric data.

More information on the Sandy Flanders project


  • De Smedt Ph., Van Meirvenne M., Davies N.S., Bats M., Meerschman E., Saey T., De Reu J., Gelorini V., Zwertvaegher A., Antrop M., Bourgeois J., De Maeyer Ph., Finke P.A., Verniers J. & Crombé Ph. (2012). A multidisciplinary approach for reconstructing Late Glacial and Early Holocene landscapes,  Journal of Archaeological Science 40: 1260-1267.
  • Bos J.A.A., Verbruggen F., Engels S. & Crombé Ph. (2013). The influence of environmental changes on local and regional vegetation patterns at Rieme, (NW Belgium): implications for Final Palaeolithic habitation, Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 22: 17-38.
  • Zwertvaegher A., Finke P., De Reu J., Vandenbohede A., Lebbe L., Bats M., De Clercq W., De Smedt Ph., Gelorini V., Sergant J., Antrop M., Bourgeois J., De Maeyer Ph., Van Meirvenne M., Verniers J., & Crombé Ph. (2013). Reconstructing Phreatic Palaeogroundwater Levels in a Geoarchaeological Context: A Case Study in Flanders, Belgium. Geoarchaeology 28(2): 170-189.
  • Crombé Ph., Van Strydonck M., Boudin M., Van den Brande T., Derese C., Vandenberghe D.A.G., Van den haute P., Court-Picon M., Verniers J., Bos J.A.A., Verbruggen F., Antrop M., Bats M., Bourgeois J., De Reu J., De Maeyer Ph., De Smedt Ph., Finke P.A., Van Meirvenne M. & Zwertvaegher A. (2012). Absolute dating (14C and OSL) of the formation of coversand ridges occupied by prehistoric hunter-gatherers in NW Belgium, Radiocarbon 54 (3–4): 715-726.
  • Crombé Ph., De Smedt Ph., Davies N.S., Gelorini V., Zwertvaegher A., Langohr R., Van Damme D., Van Strydonck M., Antrop M., Bourgeois J., De Maeyer Ph., De Reu J., Finke P.A., Van Meirvenne M. & Verniers J. (2013). Hunter-gatherer responses to the changing environment of the Moervaart palaeolake (NW Belgium) during the Late Glacial and Early Holocene. Quaternary International 308/309: 162-177.
  • Vermeer J.A.M., Finke P.A., Zwertvaegher A., Gelorini V., Bats M., Antrop M., Verniers J. & Crombé Ph. (2013). Reconstructing a prehistoric topography using legacy point data in a depositional environment. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms.
  • Crombé Ph., Robinson E. & Van Strydonck M. (2014). Synchronizing a Late Glacial Abrupt Cooling Event with Paleoenvironmental and Population Changes: Case Study of the Moervaart Paleolake Area (NW Belgium). Radiocarbon 56(2): 899–912.


Prof Dr Philippe Crombé