Archaeologists in canton Bern have discovered a village built on piles at Lake Biel with an impressive defensive fortification dating back to around 3,200 BC.This content was published on May 15, 2009 - 12:12
Such villages from this period are new to researchers; in the lake archaeology of central Europe they have only been found dating from 1,500 years later.
A statement from the authorities in canton Bern on Friday said that the find shed new light on the social behaviour of the local people at that time. It meant that they were not always peaceful.
The researchers note that no fewer than seven pile villages have been found on the shores of the lake in the commune of Sutz-Lattrigen dating from between 4,300 and 1,600 BC.
The excavations, which will last till the end of this month, have been necessary because the lake bed is subject to heavy erosion.
In 2007 archaeologists discovered traces of Switzerland's oldest building, dating back to 3,863 BC, in the same area.
swissinfo.ch with agencies
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