Susiluola (Wolf Cave)

Kristiinankaupunki, Finland

Susiluola (Wolf Cave) is a crack in the Pyhävuori mountain. The upper part of the crack has been packed with soil, forming a cave. In 1996, some objects were found in the cave that brought about speculations that it could have been inhabited in the Paleolithic, 120,000 to 130,000 years ago. These objects, if authentic, would be the only known Neanderthal artifacts in the Nordic countries. However, there is disagreement as to whether Neanderthals actually settled in the cave.

Archaeologist have found about 200 artifacts, some 600 pieces of strike waste, scrapers and bolt stone, and heated stones from an open fire. The objects are made of various materials, including siltstone, quartz, quartzite, volcanic rock, jasper and sandstone; as siltstone and quartzite don't occur naturally in the area, at least some of these must have come from elsewhere.

The ground in Wolf Cave consists of at least eight layers, of which the fourth and the fifth are the geologically and archeologically most interesting. The stone material that has been found appears to have been worked with several different techniques - tools of stone with good processing structure, such as fine-grained quartzite and red siltstone, have been worked in a way that is typical of the Middle Paleolithic, probably from the Mousterian era, while quartz, other quartzite, and sandstone have been worked with the earlier Clactonian technique.

Large quantities of bones from mammals and their prey have also been found, mostly in the upper layers of the cave, though it is not certain that any of the bone material dates from before the last ice age.

Due the research work and falling boulders the public does not have access into Wolf Cave, but there is a walking trail about 1 kilometre long from the Tourist Center to Wolf Cave. The trail takes you past a rock garden, a bronze-age burial site and a "devil's field" (a moraine). The Wolf Cave Tourist Center is located on Paarmanninvuori hill in Karijoki, about two kilometres from the downtown area of Karijoki in the direction of Kristiinankaupunki. The Wolf Cave Tourist Center is open daily during the summer months.

References: Wikipedia, official web site

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Details

Founded: 120,000-130,000 B.C.
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Finland
Historical period: Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Age (Finland)

Rating

3.9/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jore Saarimaa (11 months ago)
A place worth visiting
Esa Kivelä (2 years ago)
Karijoki's Susiluola is a well-preserved ancient relic. Unfortunately, there is no access to the cave for safety reasons, the cave mouth is fenced off. There are plenty of nature trails around the cave, which are quite difficult to navigate, i.e. not suitable for people with reduced mobility. However, you can get almost to the cave by car (cave approx. 50m from the parking lot). There is a barbecue hut where you can grill sausages. As well as an observation tower in a wonderful location (approx. 300m from the parking lot).
Mikko Paukkila (3 years ago)
A fine place. A smaller mouth could be deduced from the pictures.
Juha järvenpää (3 years ago)
Historically interesting place. And easily approachable, though not recommended for the poor. The terrain is rocky and uneven ...
Renno Karjus (3 years ago)
Nice mystic pleace.
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