PREHISTORICAL CUIJK – …
Period 20.000 B.C.
A sandy, sloping plateau beside the Maas. An alternating landscape with river dunes and low woods. This is what Cuijk must have looked like in prehistory, the time of the first settlers and when the first signs of life and cultivation were visible in the area around Cuijk.
The first people that lived in this area were hunters and gatherers. They lived of hunting and edible plants in their near surroundings. The climate at the time was a lot colder than it is now, which forced the first inhabitants to chase Reindeer over the cold, sloping landscape. Remains of the tools that these early hunters used were found in and around Haps, Linden and Cuijk and can be admired in museum Ceuclum.
In the course of time, however, these hunters settled in one place and built a settlement from where they could cover the surrounding area. In order to settle in one place conditions had to be good. These good conditions were found in the area where the municipality of Cuijk is now. This period also provides a lot of remains, found during diggings in Haps, Cuijk and around the Kraaijenbergse Plassen. Many remains of early inhabitants of the municipality Cuijk were discovered. Archaeologists have found signs of habitation, arrowheads and pot shards.
A very important discovery that has been made in this area concerning the history of Cuijk in prehistory is the discovery of a prehistoric farm in Haps. There may have been more of these surrounding this farm to form a small settlement, but the first of its kind was found in Haps and is consequently called the Haps-type. These big farms were built around the year 400 B.C. and were made of wood and straw. The focus of the inhabitants of these small villages gradually changed from hunting to farming. The ground was very suitable for agriculture because of the clay and sandy soil. Small crops, mostly grains, were grown while hunting and gathering lost their importance with every generation.
This form of life continued until the arrival of the Romans, and the early inhabitants in the present Haps, Linden and Cuijk could live undisturbed on the rich plains around the Maas.