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Neolithic ruins receive UNESCO World Heritage status

28 Jun 2011, 11:15

Published: 28 Jun 2011 11:07 GMT+02:00
Updated: 28 Jun 2011 11:15 GMT+02:00

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Several lakeside prehistoric settlements in the Alps have been awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural arm.

The 111 sites scattered across Switzerland, Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia are the remains of prehistoric pile-dwelling settlements built from around 5000 to 500 BC on the edges of lakes, rivers or wetlands.

Fifty-six sites, offering exceptional conservation conditions for organic remains such as wood, textiles and plant remains, are located in Switzerland. The settlements are well-preserved, UNESCO said in a statement and represent “one of the most important sources for the study of early agrarian societies in the region.” 

The so-called “Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps” are the latest addition to seven other Swiss sites already on the UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage List. Switzerland also has three sites listed on the World Natural Heritage List.

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