WARP30 Abstract/PowerPoint: Breaking Waterlogged Ground. Challenging the Dichotomy Between Wet And Dry Land Based on Evidence Gathered From the Waterscapes of Caton Zug (Switzerland)

By Renata Huber, Eda Gross
Amt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie, Direktion des Innern

Dock for logboats
Reconstructed dock for logboats as one possible function

ABSTRACT:  Zug takes its name from an old term for hauling in fishing nets (zuc). Current research underlines the significance of the use of wetland resources at several sites from at least the Neolithic onwards. The excellent preservation conditions at wetland sites allow us to make a distinction between various patterns of resource management at different sites. The abundance and composition of the recorded finds (including animal and plant remains) seem to vary depending on the location, function, and seasonality of each individual site.

At Cham-Eslen, around 4000 BC, a single building on a shallow seems to have been used predominantly for fishing, as we can tell from the discovery of fishing gear and a large amount of fish bones. Trans-disciplinary studies carried out on a large bone midden and its overlying loam layers at the site of Zug-Riedmatt (around 3200 BC) revealed evidence of seasonally differentiated subsistence activities including intense red deer hunting, fishing, gathering, and processing of different wetland species in and around the river delta and lakeshore. The Roman mill at Cham-Hagendorn – preserved in an abandoned riverbed – gives us a glimpse of the use of a watercourse as a source of energy. Finally, a recent excavation in a silted-up small lake called “Bibersee” (beaver lake) yielded a very rich assemblage of fishing gear (traps, fences, a dugout) from the Middle Ages, which fit in well with the site of Steinhausen-Sumpfstrasse West.

When tracing backwaters and wetlands in pre-industrial Canton Zug, a variety of waterscapes emerge. Lakes, deltas, riparian zones, rivers and swamps of different sizes cover a large area of Canton Zug and paint a picture of abundant food resources as well as transport and communication routes and energy sources over the course of time.

To see Renata Huber and Eda Gross’ WARP30 PowerPoint click here:  Breaking Waterlogged Ground from the Waterscapes of Canton Zug, Switzerland

Composite tool with elaborately wrapped handle from Cham-Eslen
Composite tool with elaborately wrapped handle from Cham-Eslen

WARP30 Abstract/PowerPoint: Getting Out of the ‘Glutinous Ghetto': The Acknowledgement of the Lake-Dwelling Myth

By Marc-Antoine Kaeser
Director of the Latenium Museum, and associate professor at the University Neuchâtel (Switzerland)

To see the excellent WARP30 Conference PowerPoint for the following Abstract click here:  Getting Out of the Glutinous Ghetto by Marc-Antoine Kaeser  (it is large so may have to download)

Pioneers of the progress of civilisation
Pioneers of the progress of civilisation

Since 2011, the Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps have been listed in the UNESCO World Heritage. This reflects the importance of the study of these sites, both in the shaping of the methods of prehistoric science, and for the understanding of habitat, economy, craft and everyday life during the recent prehistory of Europe.

On further examination, one may wonder however about the reasons for the very late integration of this field of research into mainstream archaeology. For a decade now, specialists of the field have identified several motives for this poor recognition, which Francis Pryor qualifies as a “glutinous ghetto” noxious to the dialogue within the discipline. These motives may be summarized in a few keywords: a strong methodological specialization detrimental to the widening of synchronic, cultural perspectives, approaches governed by functionalism, and explanatory schemes favouring environmental determinism.

Our contribution will show that in this matter, the burden of the history of research should also be taken into account. In fact, the development of lake-dwelling archaeology is closely related to its double, national and ideological instrumentalization. On the one hand, the discovery of the lake-dwellings has indeed contributed to the affirmation of the national identity of the new Swiss federal state founded in 1848 in the aftermath of the Sonderbund civil war. On the other hand, and in a more subtle way, what we define as the “lake-dwelling myth” has long served to promote the universal values of liberal progressivism. [see illustration above]

Accordingly, the “Lake-Dwellers” were mobilized in the fight against Pangermanism and Nazism – an embarrassing legacy for modern archaeological science. Until the end of the twentieth century, the archaeological community actually strived to refrain from all social and cultural interpretations, which might be suspected of ideological exploitation.

In this sense, the application to World Heritage which started in 2004 heralds the start of a new era in pile-dwelling research, fostered by a new generation of prehistorians, who take advantage of a renewed, critical and reflexive historiography in order to dispassionately address this potentially sensitive past.

Experimental Archaeology live


WARP30–the 30th Anniversary of the International Wetland Archaeological Research Project (WARP) A Great Success!!!!

Warp cover

6-30-16  Geoffrey Irwin presents ancient boats experiment at WARP 30
Dr. Geoffrey Irwin presents ancient New Zealand boats experiment using recovered wet site examples at WARP 30

From June 28th through July 2nd, 2016 Drs. Francesco Menotti and Ben Jennings hosted the 30th Anniversary of WARP at the University of Bradford, England.  We had three days of great presentation exchanges by the delegates from all over the world.  Bryony Coles, co-founder of WARP with husband John Coles, lead off with a history of WARP and Dale Croes showed how it spread throughout the world to create a much needed exchange among wetland/wet site archaeologists.  We are posting the PDF of the entire conference here for everyone to appreciate:  WARP30 entire program and abstracts of presenters June 28th–July 2nd, 2016, Bradford, England.

6-28-16  Ed, Francesco with his hat, Dale, Barbara and Naoto
Ed Carriere, Suquamish Indian Elder and Master Basketmaker, Francesco Menotti, WARP30 Host with Ed’s Chief Whaler’s hat, Dale Croes, NewsWARP America Coordinator, Senior WARP delegate Barbara Purdy and Naoto Yamamoto, NewsWARP Asia Coordinator 
7-2-16 Excursion group at presentation on how to make cheese at Wensleydale Creamery
Group Excursion Day #2 at presentation on how to make cheese at Wensleydale Creamery

Also in NewsWARP we hope to publish as many of the papers and PowerPoint presentations as PDF, leading off with a great example by  Urs Leuzinger, Department of Archaeology Thurgau (Frauenfeld, Switzerland) and his paper, in English and Swiss (we publish in all languages in NewsWARP) and his PowerPoint PDF:   The Wooden Stone Age – a Paradise for Experimental Archaeologists — please view under the Reports Category in NewsWARP: Urs Leuzinger’s WARP30 Paper/PowerPt.  We hope many other attendees will share their paper/powerpoint PDFs so that this exceptional collection of WARP30 presentations can rapidly be enjoyed and appreciated by all.

Please send other submission to Dale Croes at dcroes444@gmail.com .  A GREAT THANKS to Francesco and Ben for making our 30th a great time together–that WARP has succeeded for 30 years is a real tribute to our wetland/wet site learning community.  We all agreed at the ending session that we need to keep promoting our area of specialty into the archaeological community and WARP now has taken this lead for 30 years!  Thanks                                                         

7-2-16 Famous stone railroad bridge on way to Wensleydale Creamery 2
7-2-16 Famous stone railroad bridge seen on excursion, on way to Wensleydale Creamery
7-2-16 Fountains Abbey
7-2-16 Ruins of Fountains Abbey on WARP30 excursion

WARP30 Paper/PowerPoint: The Wooden Stone Age — A Paradise for Experimental Archaeologists

We hope to publish papers and PowerPoints given at the recent 30th Anniversary of WARP Conference, held June 28th — July 2nd, 2016 at the University of Bradford, England.  Urs Leuzinger provided me his Flash Drive at the conference with his Paper, both in Swiss and English (we publish in NewsWARP in all languages) and a PowerPoint PDF.  Here is part of his Abstract, and the whole thing can be seen in the WARP30 program catalog under the Conference menu category in NewsWARP.

The Wooden Stone Age–A Paradise for Experimental Archaeologists  by Urs Leuzinger, Department of Archaeology Thurgau (Frauenfeld, Switzerland)

Thanks to the excellent preservation conditions that prevailed in the waterlogged layers of the prehistoric wetland settlements around the Alps precise information is available on the architecture and implements that would not normally have survived the past millennia. Wooden objects in particular, but also textiles and botanical remains, complement the usual artefact categories of stone, pottery and metal. This lecture presents a selection of features and finds from pile-dwelling settlements that allow today’s craftspeople to create replicas.

To see the full paper in English and Swiss click on:  The Wooden Stone Age (English)The Wooden Stone Age (Swiss)  And the excellent PowerPoint:  The Wooden Stone Age PowerPoint Presentation



charred textiles
Charred Textiles found in Swiss Lake Dwelling Wet Site
replicating textiles
Replicating Ancient Textiles from Swiss Wet Site
spindle whorl
Ancient wooden spindle whorl with yarn still adhering

spindle whorl drawings

Illustration of ancient spindle whorls found in Swiss Wet Sites