Sites & cities that bear the name of Egolzwil 3

Egolzwil 3

Today in : Switzerland
First trace of activity : ca. 4,300 B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 4,000 B.C.E
Recorded names : Wauwilermoos pile dwelling settlement

Description : Wauwilermoos or Egolzwil 3 is one of the 111 serial sites of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps, of which are 56 located in Switzerland. Egolzwil 3 is one of the earliest lake-dwelling settlements in Switzerland. Therefore, it contains an important archaeological Egolzwil culture reference assemblage. The houses in this region were built directly on the ground, as the well-preserved house floors with hearths prove. The village was inhabited only for six years, and thus shows a short but precisely defined episode within the Neolithic period. Moreover, it provides favourable preservation conditions for wood and other organic materials such as plants and bone. The remains of the settlements are an important site for palaeo-ecological studies on the Wauwil bog (German: Wauwilermoos). Excavations and finds After the draining of the lake in the mid-19th century, first Stone Age settlements have been found in the vast moorland. Due to the excavations that were carried out until 1929, the Wauwil plain became known as an archaeological region. A research based on scientific criteria began in the early 1930s with excavations in Schötz and at the Neolithic site Egolzwil E2 under the direction of Hans Reinerth. Emil Vogt started systematic excavations from 1950 to 1966 on the settlement sites E3, E4 and E5. After the excavations under René Wyss in 1965 and 1985–88, eleven Neolithic and 30 Mesolithic sites were known at the Wauwilermoos, at the beginning of the 21st century even more than 120 Stone Age sites. The first settlements rose after the withdrawal of the Reuss glacier around 13000 BC at six sites. Late Paleolithic (approx. 12000-9000 BC) includes 46 sites situated on an old elevated shoreline of the former lake. These artifacts, among them many burins and typical back and wide lace tee scratches, are attributed to the Fürstein culture. The well-documented Egolzwil culture was named after the Wauwilermoos (E3) site, dated shortly after 4300 BC. In addition to the eponymous locality Egolzwil E3, there are four other settlement sites. The short-lived village was built at the ground level in the sedimentation zone of the lake. Its houses were made of timber ash, oak and alder. The interior was illuminated and heat by a centrally disposed fireplace. The hand-shaped ceramic consisted mainly of pots and bowls with two round-bowed handles and an average volume of 1.8 to 2.8 liters, along with some liquid containers (volume of 6-8 liters) and individual so-called Wauwilerbecher cups. Unique are sickles with a straight wooden handle and diagonally sweeping knives made of flint that was fixed with birch tar, axe shafts, clubs, sticks, furrows, and a textile jewelry container with shells from the Mediterranean area.

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