Working methods

Jean de Heinzelin was both a geologist and an archaeologist. At Ishango, his goal was twofold: to collect geological data on the evolution of the lake and archaeological data on the history of the people who lived there.

How did he proceed?

His team dug two large perpendicular cuts on the shore at the junction between the lake and the Semliki river. By doing this, he could observe the stratigraphy of the site, that is to say the different layers of sediment accumulated over time. The trench was cut with care to collect any archaeological objects, which were present by their thousands.

A site to keep exploring

The site extends over a much larger area than the trench. There is a rich scientific potential for future archaeologists. At the end of his excavations, in 1959, Jean de Heinzelin took care to protect the stratigraphy. He placed breeze blocks at the base of the trench and planted shrubs to prevent stratigraphie.