Palafittes of Lake Viverone

The pile-dwelling archaeological site of Lake Viverone is one of the five Piedmontese sites registered in the UNESCO World Heritage list of cultural assets.

The pile-dwelling archaeological site of Lake Viverone, situated in the south-western part dominated by marshes, large meadows left to pasture and pine trees, is part of the system of “Prehistoric Palaffite Sites of the Alpine Arc” and, since 2011, is one of the four Piedmontese sites registered in the list of UNESCO World Heritage cultural assets.

Within the site, more than 5,000 wooden stakes have been preserved a few meters below the water level. It is the supporting structure of what during the Bronze Age was a large pile-dwelling village consisting of elevated huts distributed in a circular pattern along the two main walkways (which are also elevated), and used as pathways. The village covered an area of about 70 meters in diameter and was surrounded by wooden palisades for defence, in line with the typical settlement pattern of the time.

The many artefacts found during the excavation campaigns of the 1970s tell of an economically prosperous and culturally viable settlement, which developed original decorative features not found in other settlements of the same historical period. In fact, swords, axes, pins and other female ornaments, typical tools and jewels of prehistoric communities from the Bronze Age (1650 BC – 1350 BC) were found within the site. All these discoveries are kept at the Museum of Antiquities in Turin and The Biellese Territory Museum.

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