Remains of various pre- and post-Bronze Age settlements within the margins of lakes in southern Germany, Switzerland, France, and Italy. The dwellings appear to have been built on platforms supported by piles above the water surface or above swampy areas along the water's edge. The platforms supported one- or two-room rectangular huts with beaten clay floors. Cattle and sheep were raised in some of the structures. Most dwellings seem to have burned, either by accident or by attack. Because the Lake Dwellers usually rebuilt new villages on the remains of the old, archaeologists were able to work out a cultural sequence confirming that the Bronze Age immediately followed the Stone Age. See also crannog.
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