Whoever constructs a house near a lake around the Alps, near the coast, should put it on posts. Else one can’t deal with the large differences in water level between the low level in Winter and the highest level in June, after the smelting of snow in the Alps as well as the occasional high water. What is actually much more important is the question, why people constructed their homes for millennia long so near or even above the water as they haven’t done before or neither after the end of the Lake dwelling Era in about 850 BC? There is a long series of possible explanations, here the most important ones.
- One used the area of flat water, respectively those lake areas which keep fall dry to construct villages because this way, one didn’t have to cut down the forest and the soft surface made the construction of houses easier.
- People wanted a protected place to live. Attacks from other groups over the water were with the means they had by that time more difficult than attacks over land.
- One wanted to be near the fishing grounds and the good transport routes. Trade across the lakes was for example easier to do than through the unsecure jungle.
- Also reasons of hygiene could have lead to the choice for living like this: the waste of the settlement would wash away with each high water.
- Possible other reasons played a role which are rationally not empathised like the belief in ghosts et cetera.
One should not forget either, that lake dwellings were only one out of a large choice of options for settlement in the period between 4,000 and 850 BC. At the same time, there were settlements deeper into the hinterlands, in plains, in mountains, in valleys, in moors. Possible the lake dwellings had a special task in this little researched network of settlements, a task like catching fish, trade or crafts, like for example making textiles.