A slightly later-starting Neolithic culture found in central Wallonia is the so-called "Groupe de Blicquy", which may represent an offshoot of the LBK settlers.
One notable archaeological site in this region is the Neolithic flint mines of Spiennes.
Due to its strategic location and the many armies fighting on its soil, since the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648), Belgium has often been called the "battlefield of Europe" or the "cockpit of Europe".
It is also remarkable as a European nation which contains, and is divided by, a language boundary between Latin-derived French and Germanic Dutch.
Politically the country was once polarized on matters of religion and, in recent decades, it has faced new divisions over differences of language and unequal economic development.
The ports and textile industry of Belgium were important back into the Middle Ages, and modern Belgium was one of the first countries to experience an Industrial Revolution, which brought prosperity in the 19th century but also opened a political dichotomy between liberal businessmen and socialist workers.Invasions from France under Louis XIV led to the loss of what is now Nord-Pas-de-Calais to France, while the remainder finally became the "Austrian Netherlands".The French Revolutionary wars led to Belgium becoming part of France in 1795, bringing the end of the semi-independence of areas which had belonged to the Catholic church.It is now divided into three regions: Flanders (Dutch-speaking) in the north, Wallonia (French-speaking) in the south, and bilingual Brussels in the middle.There is also a German-speaking population along the border with Germany that was added to Belgium following the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, and German is the third official language of Belgium.On Thursday, the royal due will head home after a traditional farewell at Amalienborg where they will sign the window pane of the palace and write in the guest book.It's been a hectic visit for both couples, who on Tuesday night enjoyed a glamorous gala hosted by Queen Margrethe at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen.Belgium's history is intertwined with those of its neighbours: the Netherlands, Germany, France and Luxembourg.For most of its history, what is now Belgium was either a part of a larger territory, such as the Carolingian Empire, or divided into a number of smaller states, prominent among them being the Duchy of Brabant, the County of Flanders, the Prince-Bishopric of Liège and County of Luxembourg.The earliest Neolithic farming technology of northern Europe, the so-called LBK culture, reached the east of Belgium at its furthest northwesterly stretch from its origins in southeast Europe.Its expansion stopped in the Hesbaye region of eastern Belgium around 5000 BCE.