Hearth Finds: Gateway to Bronze Age Mystery?

In Switzerland, a Bronze Age settlement was found. Across an area nearly 1000 m² in size, researchers uncovered traces of hearths, as well as remnants of pottery and other artifacts.

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In late 2023, archaeologists from Bern, Switzerland, conducted salvage excavations in the municipality of Heimberg. Scientists suspected that a Roman site might have been located there. Researchers hoped to find artifacts that would shed new light on the presence of Romans in the region. However, they were unsuccessful in this endeavor. Instead, they discovered traces of a settlement from the Bronze Age.

Bronze Age Settlement Traces in Switzerland

Archaeologists stated in a press release that they had no previous knowledge of settlement in this part of the Heimberg municipality. So far, no evidence had been found indicating larger human settlements in prehistory. Scholars worked for over three months across an area nearly 1000 m² in size. During this time, they managed to find remnants of tools, pottery, as well as pits containing hearths.

“Two of these pits were filled to the brim with stones, showing signs of exposure to very high temperatures. They could have been used for storing heat in hearths or heating furnaces. They represent typical finds from the Bronze Age,” wrote archaeologists from the University of Bern.

Remnants of hearths in excavated pits

Remnants of hearths have been discovered in many Bronze Age settlements in the past. These were places used for heating homes, cooking meals, and carrying out various tasks. Hearths were often located in excavated pits, which could be surrounded by stones or other construction materials.

Pits with hearths at archaeological sites provide valuable information about the lives of prehistoric people, as well as the technologies used by…