chapter  11
15 Pages

Alpine settlement remains in the Bernese Alps (Switzerland) in medieval and modern times

The visibility of alpine summer farming activities in the archaeological record
WithBrigitte Andres

The region of Oberhasli lies in the east of the Bernese Alps on the northern side of the Aare-Gotthard massif and includes the Aare catchment area from its origin at Grimsel Pass almost to the shores of Lake Brienz. The most important alpine transport route for Oberhasli stretched from Obwalden in the western part of central Switzerland through Hasli Valley and Wallis to Domodossola in northern Italy. The Oberhasli prospection project completed systematic surveys in 2003, 2004 and 2006 in the Gadmen and Gen valleys as well as above the treeline in the alpine pasturage at Hasliberg. Extant alpine huts provide important information on the types of construction and interior furnishings that might have been utilized in earlier time periods. With the regulation of grain farming in the fifteenth century, specialization continued to increase; wheat farming became more common in the Swiss Plateau and pastures were enlarged in the rainy alpine foothills and in the alpine valleys.