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.