Birch bark pitch is the oldest all-purpose adhesive in history. Ötzi used birch pitch to affix his arrowheads to the shafts of the arrows; other prehistoric peoples glued broken pottery with birch pitch, or sealed canoes with it. Recently, science has also solved the mystery of how it was produced.
5,000 years ago, people in Europe began erecting stone stelae in the shape of humans. These monuments were likenesses of ancestors that served to unify and nourish the village community through rituals, and legitimised land ownership.
Writing first appeared on the territory of modern-day Switzerland 2,500 years ago, south of the Alps. Some of Europe’s oldest evidence of writing in a Celtic language has been found in Ticino and the Val Mesolcina.