Scientists from the University of Bern have identified the earliest farms in Europe. Their research focused on pile dwellings found near the coast of Lake Ohrid (it is recognized as the oldest in European territory), reports Phys.org.
The wooden piles that were the basis of the buildings were flooded and are now located under a thick layer of lake sediments. They are perfectly preserved due to the absence of oxygen, bacteria and fungi.
The archaeological site was named Plocha-Mihov-Grad, it is located in the south-east of the Balkans, near the Macedonian city of Ohrid. The scientists came to the conclusion that the wood is suitable for dendrochronological analysis. This analysis will indicate the exact time of housing construction.
The authors of the scientific work dated eight hundred piles. The results showed that the ancient settlement was built up and settled in different periods of time. The earliest samples date back to the fifth millennium BC. Other piles date back to the second millennium BC.
Intensive construction activity explains the extraordinary density of wooden piles on the site. The settlements were built almost on top of each other.
“The exact dates of the various stages of settlement of the city of Plocha-Miha represent important time landmarks for the chronology of the prehistoric era in the southwestern Balkans,” the archaeologists noted.
The so-called cultural layer is hidden under the modern bottom of the lake. It consists mainly of organic material and has a thickness of up to 1.7 meters. Among other things, it contains the remains of harvested grain, wild plants and animals that can give an idea of the development of agriculture. So, farmers in the Balkans were forced to exist in a very cold climate and look for ways to grow crops, despite the weather.
” The findings are particularly interesting because this area played a key role in the spread of agriculture: the first farmers of Europe lived here,” the study participants stressed.
Earlier it was reported that the world’s oldest cosmetics were discovered in the Balkans. It is more than six thousand years old.