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   Undertoad  Thursday Oct 21 12:57 PM

10/21/2004: Oldest stairs

How about an archeology moment? These stairs were recently discovered in Hallstadt, Austria, in an ancient salt mine. full story

The find was announced by Vienna's Natural History Museum and Salinen Austria AG which described the wooden staircase as "sensational".

Well sensational is a little strong for most of us, but still, it's interesting. The site itself dates to about 5000 B.C. They worked out right away that all the wood for the stairs was cut the same year - now they are working with Vienna's Ag University to figure out exactly what year and even what season that was.

Apparently the salt mine at Hallstadt is the oldest known, and still operates today although just for show. The archaeologists have been interested in it for some time as apparently they discovered an actual salt MINER at one point. Dead 3000 years, he was.

In those days salt was so important that a community might well grow up around a salt mine.

glatt  Thursday Oct 21 01:24 PM

I've been in that mine, I think. Or maybe it was another salt mine in Austria.

Doodle  Thursday Oct 21 02:00 PM

Oooo i need to vacuum my stairs today!

xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Oct 21 10:59 PM

Cool, UT. I guess they needed stairs for the coolies to carry the salt out. Miners could get away with ladders.

Eric  Thursday Oct 21 11:56 PM

is it a sea-salt mine or well-salt mine?

Cyber Wolf  Friday Oct 22 01:41 AM

I wonder if they'll find a 7000 year old bogeyman under those stairs.

richlevy  Friday Oct 22 10:22 AM

Do they still creak?

As I was coming down the stairs
I met a man who wasn't there
He wasn't there again today
I wish that man would go away

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