The first European farmers found a settlement in the Balkans

The first European farmers found a settlement in the Balkans
The first European farmers found a settlement in the Balkans

Scientists from the University of Bern have identified the earliest farms in Europe. Their research focused on pile dwellings found off the coast of Lake Ohrid (which is considered the oldest in Europe), reports.

The wooden piles, which were the basis of the buildings, are flooded and are now located under a thick layer of lacustrine sediments. They are perfectly preserved due to the absence of oxygen, bacteria and fungi.

The archaeological site was named Plocha-Mikhov-Grad, it is located in the southeast of the Balkans, not far from the Macedonian city of Ohrid. Scientists have concluded that wood is suitable for dendrochronological analysis. This analysis will indicate the exact time when the dwellings were built.

The authors of the scientific work have dated 800 piles. The results showed that the ancient settlement was built up and settled down in different periods of time. The earliest examples date from the 5th millennium BC. Other piles date back to the second millennium BC.

Intense construction activity explains the extraordinary density of timber piles on the site. The settlements were built practically on top of each other.

"The exact dates of the various stages of settlement of the Plocha-Mikhov town are important time reference points for the chronology of the prehistoric era in the southwestern Balkans," noted the archaeologists.

The so-called cultural layer is hidden under the modern bottom of the lake. It consists mainly of organic material and is up to 1.7 meters thick. Among other things, it contains the remains of harvested grain, wild plants and animals, which can give an idea of ​​the development of agriculture. For example, farmers in the Balkans had to live in a very cold climate and look for ways to grow crops despite the weather.

“The finds are especially interesting because this area played a key role in the spread of agriculture: the first farmers in Europe lived here,” the study participants emphasized.

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