|Image: The Große Vogelherdhöhle (Big Vogelherd cave) from outside.|
|Location:||A7 exit Niederstotzingen, follow the road through Niederstotzingen, 2km after the town at the turnoff to Lontal. (74,Lb57)|
|Light:||none, not really necessary, but bring torch.|
(Große) Vogelherdhöhle: L=39m, B=7m, H=3.8m, 480m asl
Kleine Vogelherdhöhle: L=42m, B=7m, H=2.5m, 438m asl
Gustav Riek (1934):
Die Eiszeitjägerstation am Vogelherd im Lonetal,
Bd. I: Die Kulturen. Leipzig, Kabitzsch
Gustav Riek (1935): Kulturbilder aus der Altsteinzeit Württembergs. Tübingen, Franz F. Heine. ()
Gustav Riek (1951): Die Mammutjäger vom Lonetal. Stgt., Thienemanns. ()
Stadtverwaltung Langenau, Rathaus, Marktplatz 1, 89129 Langenau, Tel: +49-7345-9622144, Fax: +49-7345-9622155.
Guided Walks: Hermann Häußler, Achstraße 44 a, 89129 Langenau, Tel: +49-7345-6719, Cell: +49-172-7848347. E-mail:
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|Image: the small Vogelherd cave.|
|1931||discovered by the local historian H. Mohn from Heidenheim.|
|1931 to 1934||excavations by Gustav Riek, an archaeologist from Tübingen.|
The Vogelherd Caves are two small caves, only a few meters long. They are not interresting from the speleological or geological point of view. But they are world famous for the archaeological finds made here.
The Big Vogelherd Cave has three entrances, two of them are high enough to walk through upright. The third one is rather low, and most visitors do not even mention it. Most of the cave is rather spacious and it is used by the local youth for parties, which is not exactly allowed. However, it shows how useful the cave is as a shelter.
The Small Vogelherd Cave is much smaller. The entrance is high enough to walk in upright, but after only four meters the cave becomes very low. The entrance is a little concealed at the side of a rock and the first part of the cave turns sharp right, which makes the cave invisible from the outside, and the outside invisible from the cave. The cave is rather easy to find, as a trail leads to the entrance.
|Image: an ivory horse from the Aurignacién found in the cave.|
|Image: The Große Vogelherdhöhle (Big Vogelherd cave) from inside.|
The Vogelherd Caves were used as a shelter by stone age hunters for a very long time, during the Ice Ages. The oldest remains found in the caves are from the Acheuléen (after Riek). The most beautiful finds are some small ivory figurines from the Aurignacien. There are carvings of mammoth, ren, wild horse, bison, bear, panther und cave lion.
Dating using modern physical methods, like C14-dating, dated the ivory carvings to nearly 40.000 years before present. So the figures of the Vogelherd Caves are the oldest known artworks of the world.
The original carvings, sometimes only good replicas, are on display in archaeological museums of the region. The best archaeological exhibition is in the Ulmer Museum (Museum of Ulm). Another interesting exhibition is in the Universitätssammlungen (University Collections) in the Tübinger Schloß (Castle of Tübingen).