Lonetal Vogelherd
Lonetal Vogelherd ©Landratsämter Alb-Donau und Heidenheim
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Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura

Some 35 to 40,000 years ago, humans took up residence in six caves in the Swabian Jura, and left behind unique evidence of their creative endeavours. These are the oldest works of art and musical instruments yet discovered anywhere in the world. Hailed as an archaeological sensation, the caves featuring the oldest Ice Age art were added to the list of World Heritage Sites in 2017.

Anyone who is keen to search for exciting traces of the history of mankind, and find out how we came to be and who we are, should take a trip to Baden-Württemberg. The six archaeologically unique caves are located around 20 km from the city of Ulm in the Achtal and Lonetal valleys. When anatomically modern humans replaced the Neanderthals and spread to Europe over 40,000 years ago, they left behind the oldest mobile works of art in the world. Scientists discovered more than 50 items of jewellery and figurines hewn from ivory and bone.

The beginnings of art

Venus of Hohle Fels achieved word renown as the oldest figurine of the female form. The Lion-man of the Hohlenstein-Stadel is also of crucial importance, as it shows that Ice-Age man was already dealing with mythical beliefs. The find also included eight flutes made from bird bones. The works of art, which are up to 43,000 years old, are on display in various museums in Baden-Württemberg.

Face-to-face with the Ice Age

The Museum of Prehistory Blaubeuren is not only the entry point to the cave discoveries in the Achtal valley, but is also home to the Venus from Hohle Fels and three of the Ice-Age flutes, along with other original treasures. The Vogelherd Cave, which measures around 50 metres in length, can be accessed via the Archäopark Vogelherd archaeological park in Niederstotzingen. The park also features a multi-sensory experience trail relating to the Stone Age, and a modern visitor centre which explains the region's geological and prehistoric past. The famous mammoth figurine is a particular highlight of the exhibition. It is estimated that the 3.7-cm sculpture was produced in the Vogelherd Cave some 40,000 years ago. The museum in Ulm features a special exhibition devoted to the Lion-man.

Travel info & service

Archäopark Vogelherd:

Tuesday to Friday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Weekends and public holidays 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Public guided tours: Sundays and public holidays 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Contact:

www.archaeopark-vogelherd.de

www.welt-kultursprung.de

Ulm Museum:

Tuesday to Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Public guided tours: the museum provides alternating guided tours on a range of topics.

Contact:www.loewenmensch.de/index.html

Museum of Prehistory Blaubeuren:

Summer season (15 March to 30 November)
Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Until 4 September, also on Mondays 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Winter season (1 December to 14 March)
Tuesday and Saturday 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Closed 24 to 26 December, 31 December and 1 January

Public guided tours: the museum provides alternating guided tours on a range of topics.

Contact: www.urmu.de
www.welt-kultursprung.de

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