понедельник, 27 апреля 2020 г.

5700 year old settlement unearthed in Upper Valais, Switzerland


As part of the expansion of the senior citizens' centre in Naters, in the canton of Valais in Switzerland, archaeologists have excavated a settlement from the Middle Neolithic period, dating from 3700 to 3550 BC. This is the largest site from this period in the Upper Valais to date. 

5700 year old settlement unearthed in Upper Valais, Switzerland
Credit: Archeodunum/KAA



The site was actually discovered in 2004 during the excavation for the new development. However, due to a weather-related rise in groundwater levels, it could only be briefly examined. At that time, the archaeologists uncovered 33 pits, two fireplaces and 29 postholes, as well as well-preserved ceramic shards and organic material such as charred acorns.

5700 year old settlement unearthed in Upper Valais, Switzerland
Credit: Archeodunum/KAA

In February and March of this year, the expansion of the Naters Senior Citizens' Centre, which had been put on hold, offered the archaeologists another opportunity to uncover an area of 100 square metres in order to excavate the continuation of the settlement consisting of several buildings from the Middle Neolithic period.

5700 year old settlement unearthed in Upper Valais, Switzerland
Credit: Archeodunum/KAA



These investigations yielded significant finds, including decorated pottery, various flint objects and tools such as blades or rock crystal drills: "These rich finds are all characteristic evidence of the period in question, as we expected after the preliminary investigations," says Corinne Juon, archaeologist with the canton.

5700 year old settlement unearthed in Upper Valais, Switzerland
Credit: Archeodunum/KAA

"The remains of the settlement ecompasses an area of no less than 2500 square metres and consists of aligned rows of posts, hearths and pits for waste disposal or storage", explains Juon.

5700 year old settlement unearthed in Upper Valais, Switzerland
Credit: Archeodunum/KAA

The total cost of the archaeological work - including evaluation and publication - amounts to around eight million Swiss francs, according to a statement from the Cantonal Archaeological Service. 

"Thanks to these discoveries and the excavations planned as part of the construction of the A9 motorway between Sierre and Susten, the Upper Valais is set to become one of the favourite areas for archaeologists, particularly for the study of Neolithic societies" the statement added.




* This article was originally published here

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