Experience the archaeological story from the time of hunters and collectors, that took place on the grounds of Oppe Brik in Reuver.
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Many archaeological discoveries have been made in the Beesel area. One of the first groups of inhabitants, known as the Stein group, settled in the basin of the river Maas between 3500 and 2500 BCE. Their way of life included agriculture and livestock farming, but also hunting and gathering. Artefacts characteristic of the Stein group include undecorated, quartz-deposited S-shaped pots, collared flasks, transverse arrowheads and pine tree arrowheads.
The earliest pottery found here dates back to the bronze and iron ages. Clay was used abundantly all the way into the middle ages. People used circular-based pots to prepare food directly on fires. The Rijksmuseum van Oudheden (Dutch National Museum of Antiquities) in Leiden has a cooking pot found at Reuver in its collection. A burial site discovered at Oppe Brik, has revealed that these pots were not only used to prepare and store food, but also to hold the ashes of the dead for burial.
The exploitable clay deposited by the river Maas, enabled the pottery industry to develop in Reuver. Reuver started out as a stopover at a crossroads between the Cologne-Antwerp trade route and the Maastricht-Arnhem road. In the 16th and 17th centuries, brick factories were established in the region and in 1865 a railway track was even laid. This allowed the pottery industry to expand even further. At the end of the 19th century, Louis Timmermans established a brick factory north of Reuver. Timmermans partnered with the Teeuwen brothers who later took over the factory and changed its name to Gebr. Teeuwen’s Kleiwarenindustrie (Teeuwen Brothers’ Pottery Works) in 1928. The name Oppe Briks alludes to this history of brick-making.