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The prehistoric lake village sites of Switzerland, Germany and Austria have been known for more than 150 years. Over one hundred of them were accorded UNESCO World Cultural Heritage status in 2011 (Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps). Mainly dating to the Neolithic (including Copper Age) and Bronze Age, the zone of lacustrine settlement represents an early phase of sedentarization in the northern foothills of the Alps. Despite significant research much remains to be done.

In particular the integration of wetland archaeology and palaeoecology will generate data and models relevant to understanding the variability of human impact on landscapes, especially the environmental interactions of Neolithic societies, with relevance to the entire peri-Alpine region.