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3,000-Year-Old Enigma: Lost Bronze Age Village Unearthed in Switzerland Rewrites History, Baffles Archeologists

Surprise Bronze-Age Settlement Discovered in Switzerland
Source: Archaeological Service of the Canton of Bern

The excavation site of the Bronze Age settlement in Heimberg, Switzerland.

Mar. 3 2024, Published 11:02 a.m. ET

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In a historical twist, archaeologists in Switzerland stumbled upon a hidden gem: a 3,000-year-old settlement where they least expected it.

Initially searching for Roman ruins, teams unearthed a Bronze Age village in Heimberg, baffling experts and rewriting the region's history.

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The discovery, made in the fall of 2023, revealed ditches, pits and fragments of pottery dating back to 1500-1200 B.C., according to a statement from the Archaeological Service of the Canton of Bern (ASCB).

Unlike past finds, this settlement belonged to the Middle Bronze Age, a period previously unknown in the area.

As Regine Stapfer, archaeologist at ASCB, explains, “What is exciting about the Heimberg site is that no settlement from the Middle Bronze Age was previously known at this location,” Newsweek reported.

The purpose of the pits remains a mystery. Some might have held heated stones for warmth, while others could have been clay extraction sites, a valuable resource for Bronze Age people.

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Notably, no burial grounds were found, leaving the identity of the inhabitants unknown.

This isn't a solitary find. Heimberg sits amidst a string of recent Bronze Age discoveries between Thun and Bern, including pile dwellings near Schadau Castle.

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These revelations paint a new picture of the region, showcasing the Aare Valley's importance as both a habitat and a trade route during this period.

The story is far from over. With only part of the settlement unearthed, archaeologists are eager to delve deeper and unravel the secrets of this lost village. Their findings promise to shed light on a forgotten chapter in Switzerland's rich history.


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