10 Early counterfactuals of the pile-dwelling theory
Besides F. Keller and his world-famous "pile-dwelling theory",
natural scientists also dealt with the topic
and in some cases came to different conclusions.
The interplay between humans and the environment was the focus of their research
and was investigated with new methods.
Keller's "pile dwellers" served above all to promote the identity of Switzerland.
The three natural scientists Frédéric Troyon (1815-1866), Adolphe Morlot (1820-1867)
and Edouard Desor (1811-1882) employed methods
which served the prehistory as a whole and created a basis.
The pile-dwelling past was integrated into an overarching prehistoric context
and Keller's special case of a stand-alone "pile-dwelling culture" was questioned.
This critique and extended research was of great importance
to the newly created scientific discipline of "prehistoric archaeology".
After the Bernese "Ordinance against the Taking Away and Damage of Ancient Finds
in the Lake District" passed in 1873,
it was followed in 1905 by a legal regulation in Baden-Württemberg.
Picking up objects was made a punishable offense.
Antiquarian looting was outlawed, and the increasing professionalization
of archaeological science gained importance.
From 1919 on, there was a turn back to the banks and bogs
with new archaeological questions regarding the settlements,
which did not only focus on the single finds,
but also to the overall findings of the settlements.
The beginning of the heritage conservation
In Germany, pile-dwelling archaeology had been delayed
not only by H. Reinerth and the science-political reasons,
but also after 1945 for a long time.
In Switzerland, on the other hand, research could be pushed ahead
and continued successfully.
It was not until 1979 that pile dwelling research
was also institutionalized in the Landesdenkmalamt Baden-Württemberg.
Excavations were extended to small lakes and bogs in Upper Swabia
and the Allgäu as well as in the Bavarian Lech Valley
on the part of the German Research Society (Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft = DFG).
The DFG and the Bavarian State Office for the Preservation of Monuments
also conducted excavations in Pestenacker between 1988 and 2004.
The pile dwelling fever and the pile dwelling romanticism remained, however,
an important part of the history of research on pile dwellings around the Alps.
Pile-dwelling history did not always serve the people of its time,
to explain prehistory with science
but to satisfy the longings of the people of their time
and to give a meaning to existence that went back much further than themselves.
The romantic ideas fulfilled expectations,
that contemporary society associated with its view of the past.