pile dwelling

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pile dwelling:

see lake dwellinglake dwelling,
prehistoric habitation built over the shallow waters of a lake shore or a marsh, usually erected on pile-supported platforms, but sometimes on artificial islands or mounds.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pile Dwelling


(also lake dwelling), a type of ancient dwelling, constructed on wooden piles along the banks of rivers and the shores of lakes and bays and in marshy areas.

The remains of ancient pile dwellings, which date from as early as the Neolithic, were first discovered in the mid-19th century on Swiss and Alpine lakes; other remains were later uncovered in Northern Italy—at sites of the Terramara culture—and in Denmark, Germany, the Danube region, and elsewhere. Some pile settlements were quite extensive, and their construction exhibits elements of primitive planning. In the Danube region and Northern Italy and on the Balkan Peninsula, such settlements existed during the Greek and Roman era as well. In the USSR, studies have been made of pile dwellings dating from the Neolithic, Bronze Age, and later periods; the sites examined include the Modlona pile settlement and the settlements discovered on Lake Lacha in Arkhangel’sk Oblast and in the Shigirskii and Gorbunovo peat bogs of the Central Trans-Ural Region.

Pile dwellings are still found in certain areas of South and East Asia, Indonesia, Oceania, South America, and Africa among peoples who make their living chiefly from fishing.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.