The Hohle Fels is a cave in the Swabian Alps that has yielded a number of important archaeological finds dating to the Upper Paleolithic age. Artifacts found in the cave represent some of the earliest examples of prehistoric art and musical instruments ever discovered. The cave consists of a tunnel of about 15 m (50 ft) and a hall holding about 6,000 m3, making the cave hall one of the largest of Southern Germany.

The first excavation took place in 1870, yielding remnants of cave bears, reindeer, mammoths and horses as well as tools belonging to the Aurignacian culture of the Upper Paleolithic. Further excavations during 1958 to 1960, 1977, and 2002 yielded a number of spectacular finds, including several specimens of prehistoric sculpture such as an ivory bird and a human-lion hybrid figure similar to the Löwenmensch figurine but only 2.5 cm tall. In 2005, one of the oldest phallic representations was discovered.

In 2008, a team from the University of Tübingen, led by archaeologist Nicholas Conard, discovered an artifact known as the Venus of Hohle Fels, dated to about 35,000 to 40,000 years ago. This is the earliest known Venus figurine and the earliest undisputed example of figurative art. The team also unearthed a bone flute in the cave, and found two fragments of ivory flutes in nearby caves. The flutes date back at least 35,000 years and are some of the earliest musical instruments ever found. In 2012, it was announced that an earlier discovery of bone flute fragments in Geißenklösterle Cave now date back to about 42,000 years, instead of 37,000 years, as earlier perceived.

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Founded: 40,000-30,000 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Germany
Historical period: Paleolithic to Neolithic Period (Germany)

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User Reviews

Deepanjan Sharma (7 months ago)
The amazing history of the begining of man kind at 40000 years ago. Its truly amazing. And the way they preserved it, its amazing.
Elif Kaya (8 months ago)
Nice and easy hike, nice view!
mihai batiu (2 years ago)
The cave is small and it takes you less then 5 min to visit everything. If you want to go inside make sure you have proper shoes, because the surface is slippery. If this is your first cave you should go inside, if that is not the case you can skip it.
erik vdbroeck (2 years ago)
nice natural site.non-guided cave visit.
Noga Adama (2 years ago)
Amazing cave, amazing energy, a sacred place for people. A ritual place, from the ancient times when the Mother Goddess was worshipped and loved.
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