Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps you gotta go here

Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps is a series of ancient settlements that were built from about 5000 BC to 500 BC. Excavations done here have yielded great insights of the prehistoric time including the way of life of ancient Europeans. They are nestled on the edges of rivers, lakes and wetlands and are found in 6 European countries listed below:

  1. Austria with 5 such sites
  2. France with 11 sites
  3. Germany with 18
  4. Italy with 19
  5. Slovenia with 2 and
  6. Switzerland with 56

The list below indicates the French dwellings and the region where they are found.

  1. Le Grand Lac de Clairvaux - Clairvaux-les-Lacs
  2. Lac de Chalain, rive occidentale - Marigny, Doucier, Fontenu
  3. Lac d’Aiguebelette, zone sud - Aiguebelette-le-Lac, Saint-Alban-de-Montbel
  4. Baie de Grésine - Brison-Saint-Innocent
  5. Baie de Châtillon - Chindrieux
  6. Hautecombe - Saint-Pierre-de-Curtille
  7. Littoral de Tresserve - Tresserve
  8. Littoral de Chens-sur-Léman - Chens-sur-Léman
  9. Les Marais de Saint-Jorioz - Saint-Jorioz
  10. Le Crêt de Chatillon - Sévrier
  11. Secteur des Mongets - Sévrier, Saint-Jorioz

All this sites are UNESCO World Heritage Sites as they give a direct insight into how ancient people used to live. Excavations that have been performed at some of the site reveal an interesting read for those who are interested in prehistoric era humanity. The Neolithic and Bronze Age in the Alpine Europe is best studied from such sites as they hold the most well preserved archaeological sites.

Modern observers are given a false impression that the houses were built on the lakes or marshlands. The water bodies and marshlands have increased over time showing that the structures were built over water – an incorrect assumption. The reason the houses are erected on piles is to prevent flooding in the dwellings in case the water bodies broke their banks.

Is there anything as interesting as studying those that came before you? I doubt it. In Austria, you are given the rare chance to carry your camera into the Alpine lacustrine landscape and store away the memory of the Neolithic Man. While at it, you can also get to hike and enjoy the beautiful Alpine scenery.

The sites reveal amazing details of ancient trade routes where flint, potter, shells, gold and amber were used as the medium of exchange instead of money.  The people used to use dugout canoes, wooden wheels and in some rare cases two-wheeled carts complete with axles dating from as early as 3400BC. The sites have also revealed the oldest textiles that were used in Europe from as early as 3000BC.

A trip to these French Alpine ancient dwellings will be one of your most epic journeys. It will give you a chance to see how the European ancestors used to live and help you appreciate how far the continent has come.


by Kennedy Runo on 04/11/2014 in Sightseeing