Grotte Scladina

Useful Information

Location: Sclayn-Andenne. On the rue Fond-des-Veaux towards Bonneville.
Open: Individual visitors: JUL to AUG Mon-Fri 14.
Groups after reservation: JAN to JUL Tue-Fri 10-16.
AUG Mon-Fri 10-16.
SEP to DEC Tue-Fri 10-16.
Fee: Exhibition: Adults EUR 5, Children (6-18) EUR 3, Seniors (65+) EUR 4.
Exhibition and Cave: Adults EUR 8, Children (6-18) EUR 4, Seniors (65+) EUR 6.
Groups (15+): Exhibition: Adults EUR 4, Children (6-18) EUR 2, Seniors (65+) EUR 3.
Exhibition and Cave: Adults EUR 7, Children (6-18) EUR 3, Seniors (65+) EUR 5.
Only after appointment.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: D=90 min.
Address: Grotte Scladina, ASBL Archéologie Andennaise, rue Fond-des-Veaux 339d, B-5300 Sclayn-Andenne, Tel: +32-81-582958, +32-81-582958. E-mail: contact
Reservations: Tel: +32-81-582958, E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1949 beginning of exploration in caves of this area.
1971 cave Scladina discovered and named by members of the Cercle Archéologique Sclaynois (CAS).
1971-1977 first excavation discovering tools from the Mousterian.
1993 jaw of a Neanderthal child discovered.
2006 beginning of regularly scheduled tours.


Grotte Scladina is an archaeological site with many famous finds. It is the only site with Neandertal remains in Belgium. It was the jaw of a Neanderthal child, older than 100,000 years, which was discovered in 1993. The right mandible discovered then was followed by five more discoveries since then. The fitting left mandible and four teeth. And after this initial discovery, the collections made during the eary 16 years of archaeology were reviewed again, and looking with other intend a fragment of the maxilla (upper jaw) and 12 teeth could be identified. They were wrongly classified, as they do not show enough differences from human remains.

The age of the child was dated by scientists of the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig. Using the teeth, which grow daily until the death, the age could be determined. The child was 8 years and 17 days when it died. On the other hand there was so far no possibility to determine the gender of the child. The analysis of the isotopic biogeochemistry of bones and teeth allows to determine what people or animals eat. It revealed that the child of Sclayn consumed mainly the meat of herbivores which lived in an open landscape.

It seems, only the jaws of the child were preserved. What happened to the rest of the body is unknown. Unfortunately there was relocation inside cave, by a cave stream, which actually filled the whole cave with sediments. It is possible the rest of the child will be found somewhere else in the cave.

The Grotte Scladina is a cave system with at least five entrances. The true extend remains unknown, as the cave was completely filled with sediments, when it was discovered. So actually any cave passage which is visible today has been excavated. And as a result the size of the cave will be known when it is completely excavated. The cave was discovered by the speleologists of the Cercle Archéologique Sclaynois (CAS) in 1971. They made the first excavation compaign, from 1971 to 1977, and discovered the first bones and tools. They were aware of their age, and contacted Prof Marcel Otte from the Université de Liège (University of Liege). The findings were dated to be of Moustérien age (300,000 to 35,000 BP). Since 1978 the excavation are carried out by the University of Liege. The excavations revealed two different occupations of the cave, the first 130,000 years BP, during the last interglacial, and the second only 40,000 years BP, during full glaciation.

Excavations are still going on, so visits are possible but only after prior arrangement. A visit with a group is possible weekdays except Mondays all over the year. The visit includes a guided tour of one and a half hours, guided by an excavator in French of Dutch. An individual visit is possible only for the museum, but does not include the cave with the excavation. There is also a museum with an exposition called L'Enfant de Sclayn (the child of Sclayn). Since 2006 regularly scheduled tours take place. So it is possible to visit the cave without reservation at one time daily during July and August.