Lake-dwellings, remains of prehistoric settlements with houses and storage buildings at the margins of lakes and river banks. The dwellings were built on platforms erected on piles which were intended to stabilise the wet soil. As the water level rose in later periods, the remains of these structures were submerged. The first lake dwellings in Austria were discovered in 1864 in Lake Keutschach (Carinthia) and in Lakes Attersee and Mondsee (Upper Austria). They date from a period that has been called the Mondsee Culture after the extensive finds made there. Most of the Austrian lake dwellings date from the late New Stone Age, but similar settlements also existed in the Bronze Age. Finds include ceramics, copper objects, bone and stone tools as well as organic materials such as wooden workpieces, shafts and house components, receptacles made from tree bark, strings, fishing nets, apple slices and even dung. Lake dwellings are jeopardised by modern building activity, shipping and by divers craving to take home souvenirs. Research has therefore concentrated on locating, recording and surveying finds in order to ensure they can be adequately protected.
Literature: J. Offenberger, Die Pfahlbauten der Salzkammergutseen, 1981; E. Ruttkay: Typologie und Chronologie der Mondsee-Gruppe, in: Das Mondsee-Land, exhibition catalogue, Mondsee 1981.