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September 08 , 2010

The end of the lake-dwellings in the Circum-Alpine region


After more than 3500 years of occupation in the Neolithic and Bronze Age, the many lake-dwellings around the Circum-Alpine region ‘suddenly’ came to an end. Throughout that period alternating phases of occupation and abandonment illustrate how resilient lacustrine populations were against change: cultural/environmental factors might have forced them to relocate temporarily, but they always returned to the lakes. So why were the lake-dwellings finally abandoned and what exactly happened towards the end of the Late Bronze Age that made the lake-dwellers change their way of life so drastically? The new research presented here draws upon the results of a four-year-long project dedicated to shedding light on this intriguing conundrum. Placing a particular emphasis upon the Bronze Age, a multidisciplinary team of researchers has studied the lake-dwelling phenomenon inside out, leaving no stones unturned, enabling identification of all possible interactive socioeconomic and environmental factors that can be subsequently tested against each other to prove (or disprove) their validity. By refitting the various pieces of the jigsaw a plausible, but also rather unexpected, picture emerges.
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