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Forgotten Bronze Age Town Discovered in Lake Lucerne

Underwater archaeologists were assisting the Office for Urban Development of the City of Zurich in order to put in a new pipeline. While dredging Lake Lucerne, they discovered a 3,000 year old settlement. Pottery and piles of wood that were once homes in the area were found. This solves a mystery as to how old the settlement really is. The city of Lucerne was founded 800 years ago, but the rest of their history was a mystery.

“These new finds from the Lucerne lake basin confirm that people settled here as early as 3,000 years ago,” a spokesperson for the canton of Lucerne said in a statement. “With this evidence, the city of Lucerne suddenly becomes around 2,000 years older than has been previously proven.”

View of Lake Lucerne along the road from Lucerne to Engelberg – Wikimedia Commons

Divers found 30 stilts that were once used to support houses in the area. The samples were sent off to be examined and they got back data that this settlement was from around 1000 B.C. (late Bronze Age).

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How did this city get covered in water, and why was it forgotten? Until the 15th century, lake levels were much lower. It was over time that the levels began to rise. Dams that were built for other establishments around the area made the water rise further. Eventually, the town would be sunk and completely forgotten.

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