|History of Switzerland : Early civilization|
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In Appenzell and near the Rhine in Schaffhausen are scattered remains of the Paleolithic civilizations that occupied the area of Switzerland in between the long periods of prehistoric glaciation. Around 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last major Ice Age, hunter-fisherfolk moved in to occupy the Mittelland, soon afterwards building permanent villages on piles on the shores of the lakes of Zürich, Neuchâtel, Geneva and others. During the Bronze Age and early Iron Age, the settled villagers began both to make contact with neighbouring populated regions, and to make war on them. In the first millennium BC, the Celts advanced into Switzerland from the west, bringing with them a new culture and new sophistication, as exemplified in the fortified Celtic township discovered at La Tène, near Neuchâtel, and others near Basel, Bern and Zürich.
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