By deciding to build their villages on the shores of a lake, where the ground is often flooded and cannot support much weight, the Chalain cultivators were forced to find practical ways to adapt their building style to a particular set of conditions.

The use of pilings to keep the floors up out of the water created another set of problems: these Neolithic builders had to figure out how to keep their houses from sinking under their own weight.

Consequently, archaeologists tried to understand what construction techniques were used for these raised-floor houses. Thanks to data gathered from various excavations, as well as observations of modern-day lake dwellers' houses, they were able to carry out a life-size experiment in building a house using reproductions of Neolithic tools. In this section, you can follow the experiment step by step.