Underwater archeology reveals the secrets of a Swiss lake

Underwater archeology reveals the secrets of a Swiss lake
Underwater archeology reveals the secrets of a Swiss lake

The prehistoric past of the city of Lucerne remains largely unknown. However, the lake that surrounds it may well harbor some clues.

This content was published on January 15, 2022 – 11:45

January 15, 2022 – 11:45 am

Michele Andina

A Bernese documentary and animation filmmaker, Michele studied cinema at the Zurich University of the Arts. He has worked as a video journalist for swissinfo.ch since 2004 and is particularly interested in the development of new video formats for mobile devices, combining animation and documentary style.

More articles by this author | Multimedia

Archaeologists have long suspected the existence of dwellings on stilts in the waters bordering the city, but it was not until construction work in March 2020 that remains of a pile-dwelling settlement were first brought up. times from the bottom of Lake Lucerne.

This autumn, with a view to the possible construction of an underground station in Lucerne, the cantonal archaeological service examined the bottom of the lake basin. The objective was to locate the prehistoric settlements at the origin of the current city. As the specialists planned to examine a large part of the bottom of the lake, an alternative to traditional scuba diving was needed. Archaeologists also expected most of the remains to be covered in sediment, and therefore concealed from the human eye.

The solution was to examine the bottom of the lake acoustically, using sonar technology. For this special mission, the archeology service of the canton of Lucerne received the help of specialists from the underwater archeology service of Zurich and the University of Copenhagen. The discoveries that have been made coincide with the tenth anniversary of the classification of prehistoric pile dwellings around the AlpsExternal link a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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