Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Human history preserved in tree rings of prehistoric wooden wells

Date:
December 19, 2012
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Prehistoric farming communities in Europe constructed water wells out of oak timbers, revealing that these first farmers were skilled carpenters long before metal was discovered or used for tools. The research contradicts the common belief that metal tools were required to make complex wooden structures.

This image shows Neolithic wooden water wells.
Credit: Willy Tegel, Rengert Elburg, Dietrich Hakelberg, Harald Stäuble, Ulf Büntgen. Early Neolithic Water Wells Reveal the World's Oldest Wood Architecture. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (12): e51374 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051374

Prehistoric farming communities in Europe constructed water wells out of oak timbers, revealing that these first farmers were skilled carpenters long before metal was discovered or used for tools.

The research published Dec. 19 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Willy Tegel and colleagues from the University of Freiburg, Germany, contradicts the common belief that metal tools were required to make complex wooden structures.

The wooden water wells discovered in eastern Germany are over 7000 years old, and suggest that these early farmers had unexpectedly refined carpentry skills. "This early Neolithic craftsmanship now suggests that the first farmers were also the first carpenters", the study reports.

These first Central European farmers migrated from the Great Hungarian Plain approximately 7,500 years ago, and left an archeological trail of settlements, ceramics and stone tools across the fertile regions of the continent, a record named Linear Pottery Culture (LBK).

However, much of the lifestyle of these early settlers is still a mystery, including the climate they lived in and technology or strategies they used to cope with their surroundings. According to the study, the oak timbers analyzed in this study are also a new archive of environmental data preserved in the tree rings, which could tell an accurate, year-by-year story of the times these early settlers lived in.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Willy Tegel, Rengert Elburg, Dietrich Hakelberg, Harald Stäuble, Ulf Büntgen. Early Neolithic Water Wells Reveal the World's Oldest Wood Architecture. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (12): e51374 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051374

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Human history preserved in tree rings of prehistoric wooden wells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121219173908.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2012, December 19). Human history preserved in tree rings of prehistoric wooden wells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121219173908.htm
Public Library of Science. "Human history preserved in tree rings of prehistoric wooden wells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121219173908.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — Canadian scientists looking into the very first land animals took a fish out of water and forced it to walk. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — Parks officials in Stevens Point, Wisconsin had a fowl problem. Canadian Geese were making a mess of a park, so officials enlisted cardboard versions of man's best friend. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Archaeologists Date World's Oldest Timber Constructions

Dec. 20, 2012 — A research team has succeeded in precisely dating four water wells built by the first Central European agricultural civilization with the help of dendrochronology or growth ring dating. The wells ... read more
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins