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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Details

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

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Steve Fedor (13 months ago)
Very historic place! Very significant to mankind!
Beth Velliky (13 months ago)
Open from 2-5pm, wed-sat. Glad they did that this cave is really special.
Elmedina Alijagic (14 months ago)
It's nice,but small. You cant walk around too much.
arun pratap (15 months ago)
A good place to visit and spend an hour...
Josh Emmitt (18 months ago)
This is a very impressive and important archaeological site with human and Neanderthal material. Access may be tricky at certain times of the year depending on bat migration. The cave is cold so bring a jacket. You walk over the archaeological site as you go to the large chamber so you can get a feel for how deep the deposits go. The chamber if you can go in there is a very impressive place and well worth taking in. Worth visiting if you can.
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