Useful Information

Location: Zur Steinrinne 1, 99638 Kindelbrück OT Bilzingsleben.
16 km south of Bad Frankenhausen at the F86 in Kindelbrück, turn north to Bilzingsleben, 3 km.
(51.272112, 11.059381)
Open: APR to OCT Wed-Sun 10-17.
Fee: Adults EUR 7, Children (6-18) EUR 3.50, Children (0-5) free, Students EUR 3.50, Family (2+2) EUR 15.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 6.
Groups (15+): Adults EUR 5.
Classification: KarstGrowing Rock
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: H=40 m, L=300 m, W=100 m.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Dietrich Mania, U. Mania (1988): Deliberate engravings on bone artefacts of Homo Erectus Rock Art Research 5, 91-97. In: C Scarre (ed.) (2005): The Human Past, London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0-500-28531-4.
Jürgen Vollbrecht (2000): The antler finds at Bilzingsleben, excavations 1969-1993, Internet Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, University of York. online
Address: Ausgrabungsstätte "Steinrinne" Bilzingsleben, Zur Steinrinne 1, 99638 Kindelbrück OT Bilzingsleben, Tel: +49-36375-50249. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1508 city wall of Kindelbrück built of tufa from Bilzingsleben.
1710 first written mention of fossil jaw bones and teeth.
1908 first flint devices mentioned by Ewald Wüst.
1922 start of excavations by Adolf Spengler.
1969 Dietrich Mania discovers numerous fossils and artefacts.
1971 start of excavations by Prof. Dr. Dietrich Mania from the Universität Jena.
2003 end of excavations by Prof. Dr. Dietrich Mania.
02-MAY-2009 hall for the protection of the bone patch opened to the public.
27-OCT-2009 Förderverein "Steinrinne" Bilzingsleben e.V. founded.


At the city limits of Bilzingsleben towards Frömmstedt is left of the road a ridge which is called Steinrinne. In the middle pleistocene, about 400,000 to 350,000 years before present existed a karst spring at this place, which built a huge travertine deposit.

The brook Wipper changed its bed since then and flows today several hundred meters away and 30 or 40 m deeper. So the former valley with its travertine became a ridge. This process is called inversion by the geologists.

This place became world-famous because of the discovery of human remains, flint tools, plants and animal remains. In 1974 the remains of a Homo erectus skull where found.

In the village Bilzingsleben, in a farmhouse, a small exhibition about geology, paleontology, prehistory and anthropology of this place exists. Responsible is the Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte at the Universität Jena. But this little exhibition has no regular open hours, it can only be visited after appointment.

The best chance for a visit of exhibition and site is the day of the open monument, which is every year on the second sunday of September.