Swiss archaeologists have once again surveyed submerged ruins from more than 5,500 years ago in Lake Constance.
Recent archaeological excavations have led to the discovery of nearly 200 stone structures dating back to the Stone Age. Unfortunately, scientists still do not know who built them and for what purpose.
Lake Constance is also an unusual place today, as the borders of three countries – Austria, Germany and Switzerland – meet here. For the first time, stone artifacts at the bottom of the body of water were discovered by divers in 2015. These were stone piles stacked by man, which quickly became known as Switzerland’s Stonehenge.
During a survey 8 years ago, archaeologists discovered about 170 stone mounds in the southern part of the lake. All of them are located about 300 meters from the shoreline in a sandy shallow area, where the depth does not exceed 5 meters. The whole site is impressive in size and stretches for 10 kilometers.
Researchers are certain that the underwater structures were not created naturally and are man-made. They were most likely built during the Neolithic period, and experts have estimated the oldest of them to be more than 5,500 years old. Unfortunately, archaeologists still do not know who created these stone structures and why.
The latest surveys of the submerged site have uncovered further submerged features. Among them were several wooden piles under the stones, which bear traces of cuts made with a stone axe.
The researchers also hypothesized that the stone mounds may have been laid by the same community that inhabited the village on stilts, which archaeologists discovered in 2021. In their opinion, both the stone piles and the settlement date back to the same period around 3,500 BC.
Unfortunately, at this point it is only an assumption and there is still no convincing evidence. Nevertheless, the successive exploration of Lake Constance reveals more and more traces of the ancient past of these lands.
Mystery also shrouds the community that inhabited the stilt village. Researchers have so far failed to determine who they were, what they did for a living and what happened to them.
Photo by Urs Leuzinger/Museum at the Archaeology Department of Canton Thurgau
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