Icons: the 5,000 year-old door unearthed in a Zurich archeological dig

One of the oldest doors ever found in Europe was unearthed by archaeologists in Zurich just over 11 years ago. They found a 5,000-year-old door made of ancient poplar wood with well-preserved hinges and what archaeologist Niels Bleicher called a “remarkable” design for holding the boards together.

Using tree rings to determine its age, it is thought the door could have been made in 3,063BC, just as construction on Stonehenge began.

Harsh climatic conditions at the time meant people had to build solid houses that would keep out much of the cold wind that blew across Lake Zurich, and the door would have helped.  Bleicher said. “It’s a clever design that even looks good.”

The door was part of a settlement of so-called ‘stilt houses’ frequently found near lakes about a thousand years after agriculture and animal husbandry were first introduced to the pre-Alpine region.

The door was found at a dig for a new underground car park for Zurich’s opera house.

Archaeologists have found traces of at least five Neolithic villages believed to have existed at the site between 3,700 and 2,500 years BC, including objects such as a flint dagger from what is now Italy and an elaborate hunting bow.

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  1. I’ve always been fascinated with ancient history, and it seems that history is re-writing itself almost on a daily basis. In some ways I believe the human race, far from evolving could learn much from our ancient ancestors. Why don’t they teach this more in schools?!

  2. If this door is so intricate in its build.
    They must have been building doors for along time before this one.

  3. Impressive but should have photos of board joins and hinges.

  4. Was there anyone in when you knocked.👍

  5. I would be interested to know more about the “remarkable” design to hold the door together.

  6. Absolutely amazing. I live reading about all the ancient finds. Wish I was young enough to go on a one of those digs. Well done to everyone . Don’t ever give up. Maybe one day you will unearth something from the beginning if life on earth

  7. Would be nice to see drawings.thr pic is very vague..

  8. What was the ingenious way the the doors boards were held together? The second most interesting thing about the story and they forgot to say….

  9. Utterly fascinating, to see something so old, yet shows a sophisticated understanding, of how to stay warm, and as this article mentions , a clever method of thing the wood together , the fact it has drives is axing in itself, although with the right conditions it is possible, but this shows they at least had wood or maybe even stone buildings , with sturdy doors to keep out the elements, ironically their diet was probably, far better and more natural , than modern chemically processed foods . But to build a structure , shows intelligent thought , organisation.
    Someone had to design and make the metal parts , I do wonder if and when they do start work on the new road to remove traffic from Stonehenge, just what lies beneath that highway , perhaps similar structures, but perhaps round houses , or for all we know ,as so much is guess work , their homes may have been more familiar to us . And while there is much Guesswork , the parts we are fairly certain of, about our history only covers a tiny amount of what remains to be found .
    I imagine history as like a giant pyramid , but like an ice erg only the tip is above ground, the rest remains to be found that pyramid, made up of layers of different eras . I would love to see more about the dig where this was found, and see if any tests on the door, show any match to Stonehenge, and other ancient settlements .

  10. The heatwave will expose many such things before it is over, I hope. More will be known about human history.

  11. To live in a cold and mountainous region requires ingenuity. I’m not sure what kind of metal was used to hold the door together but it looks like it was as tight as a barrel. It probably reflects the construction of the rest of the house. Bronze age technology shows that even then they had standards that equal our own. There is nothing new under the sun.

  12. Just a door?!!!!
    And the battery fond with more than 3000 years?
    And the hammer fond inside the tock more than 100000 years?
    And many other artefacts fond until now that cross our imagination?

  13. It’s truely amazing to think what we were capable of during that era, and before.
    It’s always important to study the past in great detail. After all, we are connected to the past in so many ways. We are only seperated by layers of time!

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