Grotte de Spy

Jemeppe, Belgium

Grotte de Spy


Spy Cave (French: Grotte de Spy) is located in Wallonia near Spy in the municipality of Jemeppe-sur-Sambre, Namur Province, Belgium above the left bank of the Orneau River. Classified as a premier Heritage site of the Walloon Region, the location ranks among the most significant paleolithic sites in Europe. The cave consists of numerous small chambers and corridors.

Since the first amateur investigations during the late 19th century numerous amateur and professional archaeologists have carried out excavations and removed all sediment deposits of the cave. In 1886 Neanderthal fossils of excellent quality were discovered, which contributed to the 19th century scientific community to occasion the paradigm shift and recognize the existing fossils Engis 2 and Neanderthal 1 and embrace the notion of the mutability of species in an evolutionary context. The excavation was conducted by Liège-based archaeologist Marcel de Puydt and geologist Max Lohest. Paleontologist and zoologist Julien Fraipont published the specimen description in the American Anthropologist journal.

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