Archaeologists Search for Roman Workshop—Discover Puzzling Bronze Age Settlement

Thriller surrounds the stays of a beforehand unknown prehistoric settlement subsequent to a street that has been found by archaeologists.

The Bronze Age settlement, thought thus far to round 3,200-3,500 years in the past, was uncovered by the Schulgässli street within the municipality of Heimberg, Switzerland, the Archaeological Service of the Canton of Bern (ASCB) introduced in a press launch.

Prematurely of a development challenge, the archaeological service carried out a rescue excavation on the web site within the fall of 2023 within the expectation that the investigations would reveal an historic brick workshop from the Roman period.

However no stays of such a workshop had been discovered—as an alternative, archaeologists unexpectedly recognized traces of a Bronze Age settlement.

The excavation web site of the Bronze Age settlement in Heimberg, Switzerland. On the proper facet of the positioning, a pit crammed with “warmth” stones is seen.

Daniel Breu/© Archaeological Service of the Canton of Bern

“What’s thrilling concerning the Heimberg web site is that no settlement from the Center Bronze Age was beforehand identified at this location,” Regine Stapfer, an archaeologist with the ASCB, informed Newsweek.

The rescue excavations, which happened over the course of three months, revealed varied traces of the prehistoric settlement, however a number of features of the positioning stay a thriller.

Among the many buildings that the researchers uncovered had been ditches and several other pits, a few of which had been stuffed to the brim with stones. These stones seem to have been shattered by vital warmth, though researchers will not be precisely positive what their authentic function was.

“It isn’t clear what these pits with the fragmented stones had been used for,” Stapfer mentioned.

It’s conceivable that the stones had been heated in a hearth after which positioned within the pits to offer heat for the Bronze Age neighborhood, in accordance with the archaeologist. One other potential rationalization is that they had been used for cooking functions. Comparable pits have beforehand been discovered at different settlements dated to the Center Bronze Age.

The archaeological service additionally recognized different pits on the web site which may be proof of clay extraction. On the time, clay was an vital uncooked materials used for varied functions, resembling to plaster the wicker partitions of homes or to supply ceramics.

The excavations on the web site revealed a comparatively giant amount of prehistoric pottery. The model and ornament of the pottery signifies that the ceramic artifacts date to round 1500-1200 B.C.—offering an age for the settlement.

Solely a part of the Bronze Age settlement has been excavated thus far, thus, its authentic dimension will not be but identified, in accordance with Stapfer.

The true identification of the Bronze Age individuals who as soon as inhabited the positioning additionally stays unknown, though it’s probably that they got here from the area.

“We all know of no burial floor for the settlement and subsequently don’t have any proof of the individuals who inhabited the settlement,” Stapfer mentioned.

An archaeologist during an excavation
Inventory picture exhibiting an archaeologist throughout an excavation. A beforehand unknown prehistoric settlement has been uncovered in Switzerland (not pictured) by a street within the municipality of Heimberg.


The invention of the Heimberg settlement is one in every of a collection of newly found settlements on dry floor—i.e., not on lakeshores—from the Bronze Age which were discovered at varied places within the Canton of Bern in recent times.

Heimberg is located beside the Aare River within the Swiss Plateau, which lies between the Jura and Alps mountains. The just lately found Bronze Age websites exhibit the significance of the Aare Valley as a spot to stay throughout this time interval, and as a transport route between the Alps and the Swiss Plateau.

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