|30 October 2010
An ancient Swiss door
Archaeologists in Zurich have found a rare example of an ancient wooden door. Chief archaeologist Niels Bliecher announced that, according to tree ring dating, the door could date back to 3,063 BCE. He explained that the door, made of poplar wood, is "solid and elegant" and is "very remarkable because of the way the planks were held together." He also noted its well-preserved hinges.
The door belonged to a lakeside stilt house that probably formed part of a settlement; archaeologists found evidence of five Neolithic villages that existed between 3,700 and 2,500 BCE. Finding a door for such a house is rare - German archaeologist Helmut Schlichtherle said that while 200 stilt house had been found in southern Germany, no doors survived. "Some might say it's only a door, but this is a really great find because it helps us better understand how people built their houses, and what technology they had," he explained.
A few other ancient doors have been found, one at nearby Paefkon similar to the Zurich example, and a solid door made from one piece of wood was found in the nineteenth century and might date back to 3,700 BCE.
The door will be put on display after it is excavated and chemically treated to prevent rot.
Edited from CBS News, Associated Press (20 October 2010)
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