Swiitzerland - Zug/Cham

Early people

Info from: http://www.palafittes.ch/en/faq/
Who were the pile dwellers and when did they live?

The pile dwellers belong to the earlier farmers and breeders of the Prealps. They occupied the lake- and riversides as well as the bogs around the Alps (Switzerland, Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia). The pile-dwelling period lasts from about 5000 to 500 BC (about 4300 to 800 BC in Switzerland), comprising therefore the Neolithic (Late Stone Age) period, the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age.

What is so special about the pile dwellers?

Architectural structures of entire settlements and excellently preserved organic remains provide comprehensive insight into the history of early farmers in Central Europe. Nowhere else in the world is the development of Late Stone Age and Metal Age settlement communities as clearly understandable : researchers can highlight in detail the culture, economy and environment of prehistoric times.

Did the pile dwellers live on elevated dwellings?

Images from the South Pacific inspired the historian Ferdinand Keller and 19th century artists to paint imaginative reconstructions of pile-dwelling life, especially houses on elevated wooden platforms. In the early 20th century, the knowledge of varying lake levels, along with newly discovered timber floors and hearths on the lakeshores and in bogs led to the forming of the idea of lakeshore pile dwellings and villages built at ground level.
Today, we know of an entire range of constructions that were adapted to the individual locations where the early farmers built their settlements.

Visit: http://www.museenzug.ch/urgeschichte/index.html

photos for background info:


A Swiss Neolithic site of the Horgen culture dated to approximately 3200-2900BC from which 89 flint pieces were recovered. This is the largest assemblage in Switzerland from a single site and period.

A panel or screen made from interwoven rods of hazel or willow. The rods can be left whole or split down the middle. Such panels were used for house walls, partitions, and enclosure fences. They can be daubed, or plastered, to stop wind getting through, or left untreated.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/trail/archaeology/experimental/getting_involved_fact_file.shtml Published: 28-01-2005

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Wattle and daub (or wattle-and-daub) is a building material used for making walls, in which a woven lattice of wooden strips called wattle is daubed with a sticky material usually made of some combination of wet soil, clay, sand,animal dung and straw. Wattle and daub has been used for at least 6,000 years, and is still an important construction material in many parts of the world. Many historic buildings include wattle and daub construction, and the technique is becoming popular again in more developed areas as a low-impact sustainable building technique.

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