The first settlers on the site of Zurich were Neolithic pile-dwellers. In 15 BC the Romans built the fortified settlement of T uricum. In the Middle Ages the area experienced great days of chivalry. When the guilds were granted equal rights with the nobility the development of Zurich into a city was enhanced. In 1351 it joined the Swiss Confederation. During the 16th century Zwingli made it one of the most important cities of the Reformed Faith. Its silk and cotton industries laid the foundations of the city’s prosperity.