October 20, 2010

Oldest European door found in Switzerland

The door is dated, using dendrochronology, to c. 3063 BCE, more than five thousand years ago, in the Chalcolithic (or late Neolithic) era. It has been found in an emergency dig in Zurich city and is not the only one of its kind: it has a close relative from nearby Pfaeffikon and yet another one, this one made of a single plank, may be as old as c. 3700 BCE.

This door is made of several poplar planks and archaeologists find remarkable the method for keeping them together in a single unit. It has well preserved hinges.

The finding is part of a context of five newly-found lake-dwelling Neolithic villages. As always we are surprised by the persistence of the old ways of doing things, as doors much like this one can still be found in veteran rural homes.

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