Chalain (Jura, France), station 3. Components of a raised wooden floor, collapsed on the ground © CRAVA Photo: Pierre Pétrequin

  Doucier / Fontenu / Marigny  |     Lac de Chalain. rive occidentale

Short description
In 1904, following the artificial and sudden lowering of the lake’s water level for the sake of hydroelectric exploitation, thousands of wooden piles (pile dwellings) and objects used in the day-to-day life (pottery, tools made in stone and bones, textiles, wooden container, pirogue…) were discovered along the whole western bank.
Excavations were conducted between 1986 and 2002 and a list of 32 pile dwellings, ranging from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age (3700 – 800 BC) was compiled. These sites are testament to settlements of farming communities, placed in a defensive position on the lakeshores.

Neolithic / Bronze Age

3700 - 800 B.C.

Chalain Lake

594 m.a.s.l.

Size of the site 50,65 ha / approx. 71 soccer pitches

Size of the bufferzone 96,83 ha / approx. 135 soccer pitches

Special features & highlights
First find of a Neolithic travois with yoke.

Chalain (Jura, France), station 19. Uncovering of an ash wood travois and an oaken yoke, around 3000 B.C. © CRAVA Photo: Pierre Pétrequin

Pile dwellings up close
Espace archéologique de Clairvaux-les-Lacs
Salle des fêtes
9 rue du Parterre
39130 Clairvaux-les-Lacs – France

Opening hours and information:
33(0)3 84 25 27 47 / 33(0)7 76 96 35 02

Guided tour “plage-expo” on reservation