Definitions for lake dwellings

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The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Lake Dwellings

    primitive settlements, the remains of which have been found in many parts of Europe, but chiefly in Switzerland, the N. of Italy, and in Scotland and Ireland. They were constructed in various ways. In the Swiss lakes piles, consisting of unbarked tree trunks, were driven in a short distance from the shore, and strengthened more or less by cross beams; extensive platforms laid on these held small villages of rectangular wooden huts, thatched with straw and reeds. These were sometimes approachable only in canoes, more often connected with the shore by a narrow bridge, in which case cattle were kept in sheds on the platforms. In Scotland and Ireland the erection was rather an artificial island laid down in 10 or 12 ft. of water with brushwood, logs, and stones, much smaller in size, and holding but one hut. The Swiss dwellings, the chief of which are at Meilen, on Lake Zurich, date from very early times, some say 2000 years before Christ, and contain remains of the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages, weapons, instruments, pottery, linen cloth, and the like. The relic of latest date is a Roman coin of A.D. 54. The British remains are much more recent, belonging entirely to the Iron period and to historic times. The object sought in these structures is somewhat obscure—most probably it was the security their insular nature afforded.

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