The market-town of St Lorenzen is situated in the Pustertal, 800 m
above sea level, at the confluence of
the River Gader coming from the south and the main River Rienz, and is therefore also called Northwestern Gate to the South Tyrolean Dolomites. To the east the Pustertal opens to the Bruneck Basin with the large Valley of the River Ahrn to the north. To the west, whereto the River Rienz flows, the valley narrows a bit.
Human presence in the area of St Lorenzen roots in the deepest layers of history. Archaeological findings prove human presence since the complete withdrawal of the Alpine Würm-Riß ice sheets, corresponding to the end of the Last Glaciation in Britain and that of the Wisconsin Ice Age in North America, the mysterious period of the Mesolithic.
On the spot a village then followed in prehistoric times, probably on the bottom of the valley and on terraces of the sloping Sonnenburger Weinleite, south of the River Rienz.
In historical time Sebatum, as it was called in Roman times, was subject to the Municipium Claudium Aguntum, located in what is today East Tyrol, but certainly maintained its function of capital village of the Pustertal.
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