The gorge is one of the rare natural crossings from the Swiss Plateau to the Jura mountains between Schaffhausen and Geneva.
The area was already well colonised at the time of the Roman Empire: one of the main Roman roads from Rome led through Helvetii to Aventicum (Avenches). It continued through Morat, Chiètres and Kallnach to Solodorum (Solothurn) and Windisch, along the eastern part of the Seeland (lake land). Via Witzwil, a second road crossed the Seeland between the Lake of Neuchâtel and the lake of Morat. A spur road from Petinesca went through the steep gorge of Taubenloch, crossed the Jura through the Col de Pierre Pertuis pass, and lead to Augusta Raurica and what is now modern Germany along the Rhine.