Europe

Stone Age door unearthed by archaeologists in Zurich

Neolithic door found in Zurich (photo from Zurich city council)
Image caption The door was damaged when Neolithic villagers built a stilt house on top of it

Archaeologists have found a "fantastically preserved" 5100-year-old door in the Swiss city of Zurich.

The door could have been made in the year 3063 BC, chief archaeologist Niels Bleicher said.

The find is one of the oldest doors ever found in Europe and remarkable "because of the way the planks were held together", Mr Bleicher said.

The find was made at a dig preceding the construction of an underground car park for Zurich's opera house.

The door, which is 153cm (5ft) high and 88cm wide, was among the traces of at least five Neolithic villages believed to have existed at the site.

It is made of poplar wood and "solid and elegant" with well-preserved hinges, Mr Bleicher said.

The door would have been part of a wooden stilt house designed to keep out the cold winds blowing across Lake Zurich, the archaeologist added.

"It's a clever design that even looks good," he said.

The archaeologists plan to exhibit the door once it has been carefully removed from the ground and soaked in a special solution to prevent it from rotting.

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