Previous post Next post

Underwater archaeology reveals buried secrets of a Swiss lake

The prehistoric past of the city of Lucerne is still largely unknown. However, the lake that surrounds it could yet harbour some clues.

Archaeologists have long suspected that pile dwelling settlements existed around the lake by the city, but it was only during construction work in March 2020 that remains of a settlement were dug up from the bottom for the first time.

This autumn, in view of the possible construction of an underground railway station in Lucerne, the cantonal archaeology department examined the bottom of the lake basin. The goal was to locate the prehistoric settlements underpinning the present city. Since the specialists planned to scan a large area of the lake floor, they needed an alternative to scuba divers. They also expected most remnants to be covered by sediment, and thus hidden from the human eye.

The solution was to examine the lake bottom acoustically, using sonar technology. For this special mission, the cantonal archaeology department of Lucerne was joined by experts from Zurich’s underwater archaeology department and from the University of Copenhagen. The discoveries they went on to make coincide with the tenth anniversary of the ‘Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps’ as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

--- is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Full story here Are you the author?
About Swissinfo
SWI – the international service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Since 1999, has fulfilled the federal government’s mandate to distribute information about Switzerland internationally, supplementing the online offerings of the radio and television stations of the SBC. Today, the international service is directed above all at an international audience interested in Switzerland, as well as at Swiss citizens living abroad.
Previous post See more for 3.) Swissinfo Business and Economy Next post

Permanent link to this article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.