À la Carte in the Pile Dwelling – University of Copenhagen

À la Carte in the Pile Dwelling

Food, economy and culture in the Neolithic of Sutz-Lattrigen, Switzerland.


Lecture by Manar Kerdy, Institute for Prehistory and Archaeological Science University of Basel.

Swiss Neolithic wetland sites offer an incomparable source of information on prehistoric dwellings and settlements. The exceptional preservation of organic materials such as animal bones, antler and plant remains allow exceptional insights into Neolithic life. The preserved wooden posts of the houses make an exact dating of the sites as well as the reconstruction of settlement evolution possible. The lake-dwelling of Sutz-Lattrigen (Switzerland), situated along the southern shore of the lake of Bienne, provided a rich Neolithic sequence. The archaeological layers presented here correspond to an occupation period spanning from 3800 to 31 00 BC (Cortaillod and Horgen cultures).

As part of an archaeo-zoological project, around 25000 bone remains were identified, with the aim of reconstructing subsistence practices and environmental conditions. By comparing these results with those from other settlements at the lake of Bienne, chronological and geographical variations in the economy and ecology of hunters and herders of the 4th Millennium BC can be reconstructed. The species spectrum indicates a broad exploitation of domestic and wild species. Multiple factors such as topography, climatic or environmental conditions played a role in shaping animal economies at the lake of Bienne during the Neolithic.