Point of interest 

Chatzulecher: Testimonies of Former Glacier Advances

In the Chatzulecher it did not look always the same as today: a patchy vegetation on a moraine and rock outcrop landscape with sparse trees and timid attempts of pioneer plants to colonize near to the glacier. Here it looked quite different in the Bronze Age, 3.500 years ago: a forest of over 400 years old larch trees and Swiss stone pines dominated the landscape. The tongue of the Great Aletsch glacier was about one kilometer more up the valley than today. Maybe hunters were roaming through the area in the shelter of the trees, hoping to shoot a chamois. Perhaps they had to be satisfied with a black grouse. How do we know that? In the territory that has emerged during the retreat phase after the glaciation peak of the Great Aletsch glacier in the 1860s, roots, branches, trunks and in some places even old soil from the Bronze and early Iron Age could be discovered. Soil and wood can be dated with radiocarbon method. In this way we obtain information about the approximate time of the corresponding advancement of the glacier. In some cases, the age of the wood can be accurately calculated, using the tree-ring dating methodology (dendrochronology).