A mysterious, sophisticated village has been discovered at the bottom of an 8,000-year-old lake
Beneath the mesmerizing turquoise waters of Lake Ohrid, the “Pearl of the Balkans,” scientists have discovered a mysterious village .
Archaeologists believe that a stretch of the lake's Albanian shore hosted a settlement of stilt houses around 8,000 years ago, making it the oldest lakeside village in Europe yet discovered, and radiocarbon dating of the site between 6,000 and 5,800 BC. “It is hundreds of years older than previously known lake sites in the Mediterranean and Alpine regions,” said Albert Hafner, a professor of archeology from the University of Bern in Switzerland. “As far as we know, it is the oldest in Europe,” he told AFP. The other oldest villages were discovered in the Italian Alps and date back to about 5,000 BC, said the expert on European lake dwellings from the Neolithic period. Haffner and his team of Swiss and Albanian archaeologists have spent the past four years conducting excavations at Lin on the Albanian side of Lake Ohrid, which straddles the mountainous border of North Macedonia and Albania. The settlement is thought to have been home to between 200 and 500, with homes built on stilts above the surface of the lake or in areas that were regularly flooded. - Castle of Nails: It is slowly revealing some amazing secrets. During a recent dive, archaeologists uncovered evidence indicating that the settlement was fortified with thousands of jagged wooden planks used as defensive barriers. “To protect themselves in this way, they had to cut down a forest,” Hafner said. But why did the villagers need to build such extensive fortifications to defend themselves? Archaeologists are still searching for an answer to the elusive question. Researchers estimate that approximately 100,000 nails were driven into the bottom of the lake off Llyn, with Hafner describing the discovery as “a veritable treasure trove for research.” Lake Ohrid is one of the oldest lakes in the world and has been in existence for over a million years, with the help of professional divers. Archaeologists have often scraped the bottom of the lake and uncovered fossilized fragments of wood and valuable pieces of oak. - 'Like Swiss watches': Albanian archaeologist Adrian Anastasi said analyzing tree rings helps the team reconstruct the daily lives of the region's inhabitants - providing "valuable insights into climatic and environmental conditions" from the period. “Like a Swiss watch, very precise, like a calendar,” Hafner said. Anastasi, who heads the team of Albanian researchers, added,
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