Le Lac de Chalain (FR)

The ideas of how lake dwellings were like have shifted dramatically during the last century. In the Jura area in France, two lakes near each other were found out to reveal a large quantity of relatively undisturbed material on those dwellings. A fight begun between the archaeologists and those who wanted to make nice tourist beaches out of these lakes.

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In 1988 a project was started to combine the touristic and the archaeological goals in building a few 'lake side houses'. Visiting numbers were very small and archaeologists were only infrequently involved. Following the building of the constructions, the archaeologists turned back to their excavation work, but realised in the longer term, that the architectural constructions were lifeless without them. The presentation was inadequate and new research information did not come through in the new construction site. It became clear that the link between scientific research and a project for the general project cannot be broken without consequences.

The houses collapsed 12 years after construction, but the ruins are still monitored. The Vallée de l'Ain Archaeological Research Center organizes exhibitions and visits to Chalain during the months of July and August, as well as during the Heritage Days in September.


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