During the Neolithic period, west-central France was inhabited by people who built many megalithic monuments such as barrows and dolmens.
For a long time, archaeologists have been looking for houses and other household buildings of those who erected these monuments.
Now Vincent Ard and his colleagues have identified the first known housing estate, owned by some of Europe‘s first megalithic builders.
The archaeological site of Le Peu was originally discovered during aerial photography in 2011.
Now scientists have identified a palisade that surrounded the “farm” – several wooden buildings dating back to the fifth millennium BC.
This makes them the oldest wooden buildings in the region and the first residential complex built by contemporaries of the creators of megalithic monuments.
At least three houses were found, about 13 meters long. They were piled up on top of a small hill and surrounded by a palisade.
Despite the palisade, all the buildings at Le Peu were burned down around 4400 BC.
Scientists note that this hill offers a view of the Tusson mounds, so hypothetically the inhabitants of Le Peu could be involved in their construction.
However, it was probably the burning that prevented the further use of the settlement and kept it unchanged to this day.
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