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This series of 111 pile dwelling archaeological sites are located in Switzerland, Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia and is composed of the remains of prehistoric settlements dating from between 5000 and 500 BC, which are found under water, on the banks of a lake, along rivers or in wet areas. In no other place in the world can you so clearly observe the evolution of Neolithic and Metal Age settlements: researchers are able to reconstruct in detail the culture, economy and environment between the 5th and 1st millennia BC. The oldest pile-dwelling structures in the Alpine area are Italian, dating back to the early Neolithic Age and found on the Varese Lake. The archaeological excavation camps, conducted in some of these villages, have allowed us to reconstruct life in prehistoric times from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age in Alpine Europe and explore the ways in which communities interacted with their environment. These settlements form a single complex of particularly rich and well-preserved archaeological sites: mainly found along the banks of lakes, in peat bog areas and, more rarely, in flood plains, along rivers, in water-logged areas, all wood used for construction, food leftovers, wooden utensils and even clothes have been preserved over the years. This makes it one of the most important sources of information for the study of the first agricultural societies in Europe.

The group of settlements included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list also comprises two Piedmont sites: that of Lake Viverone, straddling the provinces of Turin and Biella (Viverone BI, Azeglio TO), and the site of the Lagoni of Mercurago Natural Park, in the municipality of Arona (NO).

The Viverone site is one of the most important populated dwellings of the Bronze Age in the Alpine range and one of the most important archaeological sites in the world for the wealth of its metal and ceramic artefacts and for the complexity of the structures.

The Lagoni di Mercurago Natural Park is a protected area (Protected Areas of the Ticino and Lake Maggiore) and the site is home to one of the first pile-dwelling structures found in Europe in the mid-19th century and the first to be scientifically studied in Italy. Archaeological excavations have led to the recovery of ceramic objects, weapons and metal ornaments, flint tools, glass pearls and wood artefacts.

Via Umberto I°, 107
13886 Viverone BI

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