Býčí skála Cave
Býčí skála Cave is part of the second longest cave system in the Moravia, Czech Republic. It is famous for archaeological discoveries. Except for the entrance, the cave is not accessible to the public, although it is opened for visitors; the cave is in the central part of the Moravian Karst, in the Josefovské Valley between the town of Adamov and the village of Křtiny. Together with the cave system Rudické propadání Býčí skála forms the second longest cave system in the country, after the Amatérská Cave, its known length is over 13 km. The entrance to the cave was always known locally, with the first written mention coming from 1669; the cave was visited by two European monarchs: on 7.9.1804 the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II and on another occasion Alois I, Prince of Liechtenstein. During 1867-1873, the part named Předsíně was explored by the archaeologist Jindřich Wankel, who discovered a Palaeolithic settlement from around 100,000 - 10,000 BCE. A statuette of a bronze bull was found, starting in 1872 a large Hallstatt culture site had been excavated.
The site contained animal and material offerings, textiles and sheet-metal vessels, jewellery and amber beads. According to Wankel, the skeletons of one man and forty young women were found; some women were beheaded, hands. On a small "altar" a skull and severed hands were placed. Wankel's romantic interpretation was that he had discovered the grave of a nobleman, accompanied by ritually killed women. Other theories suggest the death of people hiding in the cave during a war or from an explosion of a gas or dust. Research identified seventeen skeletons as men. In 1920, when water was pumped out, another cave was discovered, the "Nová býčí skála", with the Jedovnický brook running through it. During World War II, the Nazis built an underground factory in the cave. After the war, a few more caves have been discovered. In 1992, exploration of the brook was completed; the cave contains a Neolithic picture the oldest cave painting known in the Czech Republic. It depicts a geometrical shape resembling a grill with a size of 30x40 cm, painted in charcoal on the cave wall.
The carbon was dated with the C14 radio-carbon method to be 5,200 years old. The pattern resembles the decorations on some ceramic vessels from that period. List of caves Short overview History of discoveries in the cave Moravian Karst website Býčí skála website Rudické propadání website The bull statuette
The Lurgrotte karst cave is the largest cave in the Eastern Alps of Styria, Austria. It crosses the Tannenben karst region; the cave has two accessible entrances, one at the village of Semriach and the other at the village of Peggau. At the Semriach entrance, the Lur River sinks into the cave. At the Peggau entrance, the Schmelz River emerges from within the cave, flowing to the west and joining the Mur River. Archaeologists have found material in and around the cave that indicates habitation since the Paleolithic era. One specimen, a reindeer bone with tool markings, has been radiocarbon dated to 52,000 years ago; the cave was first scientifically explored by the Italian cave explorer Max Brunello on April 1, 1894. While the higher portions of the cave were known to locals, Brunello was the first to discover the lower portion of the cave; the next attempt to explore further provoked disaster. On April 29, 1894, seven cavers entered the Lurgrotte, despite heavy rainfall. A flash flood occurred while they were inside, they wound up trapped for ten days.
Emperor Franz Joseph I approved a rescue effort, employing large numbers of workers and divers who bailed out the water and rescued the trapped cavers. In February 1905, members of the Austrian Tourist Club surveyed 1,002 m of passages within the Lurgrotte. In the 1920s, the cave explorer Hermann Mayer worked with his father to develop the Peggauer section of the Lurgrotte for visitors. In addition, they tried to find a link between the Peggauer Semriach entry. On November 26, 1924, the route was cleared by explosives, but it was not until 1935 that the first crossing was possible. On May 23, 1926, the pioneering female cave explorer Leopoldine Fuhrich fell 20 m to her death while exploring Lurgrotte. There is a memorial plaque for her still inside the cave. On February 24, 1927, the city of Frohnleiten hosted an auction for the grotto, including a restaurant, two mansions, 35,359 m2 of ground, in the interests of preserving the Lurgrotte as a domestic enterprise. On July 8, 1927, the District Court of Frohnleiten held another auction of the Lurgrotte, won by a wine-trader named Pezzi.
Pezzi planned to construct railway through the cave. The first complete crossing of about 5 km long cave succeeded in 1935. In the following years the Lurgrotte was developed into a show cave, with infrastructure such as bridges and lights added for visitors. From 1962 it was possible for visitors to wander through the entire cave, until 1975, when parts of the infrastructure were washed away in a powerful storm; because the flooding recurs on a yearly basis, the full infrastructure has never been repaired. The water system in the Lurgrotte is complex, forming a drainage system for the entire Tanneben karst area; because of its complexity, the difficulty in exploring the cave's numerous underground channels, it is poorly understood. It is known that the Lur River enters at the Semriach entry, the Schmelz River exits from the Peggau side; when rainfall is heavy, excess water from the Lur system can overflow into the Schmelz system, so it is confirmed that there is a high-water connection between the two, although its location and extent are still unknown.
Attempts to trace the outflow using dye have shown that the water from the Lur emerges in springs south of the cave, while the flow of the Schmelz appears to originate from sources north of the Lurgrotte. Since the flooding of 1975, it is no longer possible to cross through the caves from one side to another. Visitors can instead tour through a shortened area at each end of the cave. From Peggau, regular guided tours enter 1 km into the cave, although in the winter longer tours of up to 4 km are available by appointment. From Semriach, tourists have access to 2 km of the cave, including its largest gallery, called the Big Dome or the Bear Grotto due to the cave bear bones that have been found within. At 120 m long, 80 m wide, a 40 m tall, it is one of Central Europe's largest underground rooms. Benischke, Ralf: Lurgrotte's commemorative publication 1894-1994 - on the occasion of the centenary of the cessation of cave explorers by floods and their salvation. National association for cave studies in Styria, Graz 1994.
- OBV. Pollack, Vincenz: Technical work at the Lurloch near Semriach in Styria. In: Journal of the Oesterreichische Ingenieur- und Architektenverein.. Volume 46.1894, Issue 20, ZDB-ID 2534647-7, p. 289 f. - Full text online. Putick, Wilhelm: The Lurloch in the Streiflichte der Technik. In: Journal of the Oesterreichische Ingenieur- und Architektenverein.. Vol. 46.1894, vol. 36, ZDB-ID 2534647-7, p. 437-441, as well as panel XV. - Full text online. The seven cave explorers in their salvation from the danger of death. Fritz, Vienna, 1894, OBV. Setz, Wilhelm: The rescue work in the Lurlochhöhle near Semriach - along with a tarp. In the self-publishing house, Graz 1902, OBV. Staindl, Rudolph: Revelations of the Lurloch affair. Bileg, Vienna, 1909, OBV. Saar, Rudolf: The Lurhöhle - near Peggau in Styria. Austrian cave guide, volume 3, ZDB-ID 677015-0. Austrian State Printing Company, Vienna 1922, OBV Zweyer, Karl: Lurloche buried alive for nine days. Experiences of a cave explorer. With a preliminary report on the work undertaken to rescue the cave explorer included in the Lurloche near Semriach.
Hans Wagner, Graz, 1894. - OBV Kusch and Ingrid: Caves of Styria - fantastic worlds. Steirian publishing company, Graz 1998, ISBN 3-85489-007-9. Lurgrotte - Semriacher entra
The Goyet Caves are a series of connected caves located in a limestone cliff about 15 m above the river Samson near the village of Mozet in the Gesves municipality of the Namur province, Belgium. The site is a significant locality of regional Neanderthal and European early modern human occupation, as thousands of fossils and artifacts were discovered that are all attributed to a long and contiguous stratigraphic sequence from 120,000 years ago, the Middle Palaeolithic to less than 5.000 years ago, the late Neolithic. A robust sequence of sediments was identified during extensive excavations by geologist Edouard Dupont, who undertook the first probings as early as 1867; the site was added to the Belgian National Heritage register in 1976. Located just south of the Goyet Castle the caves are 250 m long underground galleries, rich in speleothems and carved out of the limestone during millions of years by the waters of the Samson river inside the 90 ha limestone massif; the massif is divided into zones: Terrasse classique Troisième Caverne Abri supérieur Trou du MoulinIn 1999, an extensive network of galleries was discovered, consisting of a central and peripheral networks, named after particular areas: Régal des Fees, Salle de Cristal etc.
Edouard Dupont identified five sediment horizons or site concentrations in the cave, three near the cave entrance and two in deeper chambers. Marcel Otte resumed excavations during the 1970s. Further excavations took place from 1998 to 2004. Contemporary researchers assert that Dupont's 19th century excavation methods "did not meet today’s standards", his sediment sequences are considered to be of little accuracy and his discoveries in the archives of the Royal Belgielsan Institute of Natural Sciences have been reviewed and re-classified in recent years. Horizon 1: Magdalenian Horizon 2: Magdalenian Horizon 3: Multiple mixed occupations including Aurignacian Horizon 4: Gravettian Horizon 5: cave bear and cave lion bones The site accounts for a remarkable variety of prehistoric objects: thousands of bones of prehistoric humans and large mammals, a whistle, stone artifacts with stylized engravings, an 5,000 year old child's grave, the fossilized cranium of a Paleolithic dog, a knife made from a human rib, the largest collection of Neanderthal fossils of Northern Europe, hand axes, necklaces, ivory chopsticks, engraved ivory platelets, carved reindeer horn and skinned and filleted human remains, that suggest cannibalism among Neanderthals.
Horizons 1 and 2. Artifacts of the Magdalenian levels include hand axes and a harpoon, a necklace of 26 wolves perforated teeth, bone fragments and needles, a biserial bone harpoon, a necklace, a Turritella sea snail shell necklace. Horizon 4 included a fossilized canid skull, direct AMS dated to be 31,000 years old. Additional artifacts can be found in numerous private collections, as during the 1950s several amateur archaeologists were permitted access to the caves. Discovered during the 1860s, a dog-like cranium identified as being that of a Paleolithic dog was AMS dated to 31,680 years old. Mitochondrial DNA indicates that the canid was not a direct ancestor of modern dogs, but rather of an extinct side branch. Carbon Dated fossils: Source: Neanderthal habitation of the caves dates back to the Middle Paleolithic. Occasional Neanderthal occupation ends after 40,000 years ago. Between 45,500 and 40,500 years ago Neanderthals lived in the Troisième Caverne, where 99 bones were discovered, that belong to at least five individuals.
This represents the largest collection of Neanderthal fossils in Northern Europe. The condition of the fossils suggests cannibalism; the bodies are skinned and filleted, the bones show cut marks and were cracked to extract the marrow. In 2018, researchers succeeded in extracting nuclear DNA from Goyet Q56-1, a right femur from a Neanderthal directly dated to around 43,000-42,080 BP. DNA analysis reveals. Compared to other Neanderthals for which nuclear DNA has been extracted, Goyet Q56-1 is genetically closest to Spy94a from Spy Cave and groups closest with other Late European Neanderthals. Homo sapiens occupation began around 35,000 years ago. Goyet accounts for fossils of European populations from different junctures, including fossils that are among the earliest branch of modern Europeans, their damaged but readable DNA has been used in studies of the origin and migration of European ice age populations. Based on mitochondrial DNA of five local fossils it was concluded that the first modern Europeans have arrived directly from Africa without a detour via Asia.
The study of nuclear DNA of eight local fossils yielded groundbreaking results. The 35,000 year old humerus of a man from Goyet has been associated with the Aurignacian culture. Shortly thereafter, the population associated with this culture was ousted by a genetically distinct Gravettian rural population, but around 25,000 BP descendants reappear in Spain in the context of Magdalenian culture. After 19,000 years ago the population begins to spread all over Europe; the extent to which Neanderthals and Homo sapiens have lived together at Goyet is still under investigation. In 1998, the bones of a twelve year old child was found in a crevice; the cavern was subsequently named the Salle de l'Enfant. The remains are interpreted as representing a grave. Other cultural type elements such as perforated tubes that were used as flutes, indicate that the caves continued to be
Drachenhöhle or Drachenhöhle Mixnitz is a 542 m long cave with a 20 m wide and 12 m high entrance near Mixnitz, Austria, south-east of Bruck an der Mur located at an elevation of 950 m above sea level. Cave bear of the species and other bone fossils that people found during the Middle Ages were deemed to be the bones of dragons, a belief that culminated in the saga of the "Dragon slayer of Mixnitz"; the cave is one of the largest caves in the Alps where bears occupied an area that stretched over a length of way over 500 m, by an average width of up to 40 m and a height of 10 to 15 m. Due to a shortage of fertilizers during and after World War I the 8 to 10 m high sediments inside the cave were intensively mined between 1918 and 1923 of which around 2,500 tons of phosphoric acid were extracted. During the fertilizer mining, several geologists and paleontologists were present, who only documented the most valuable discoveries. Nonetheless, a rich cache of cave bear, Eurasian cave lion, Gray wolf, Alpine ibex and Alpine marmot fossils, remains of open hearths and Paleolithic stone tools of the Aurignacian culture dated to 65,000 to 31,000 BCE were unearthed.
Dated to between 65,000 and 31,000 BCE, these rank among the oldest traces of human presence in Austria. Records of archaeological work were published in a monograph in 1931, re-edited by Othenio Abel and G. Kyrie. Excavations took place at two locations inside the cave; the around 150,000 years old sediment's strata were divided into several layers, that among those named "Prehistoric layer" and "Paleolithic fireplace" yielded a "Neanderthal layer". To this day the bones of more than 30,000 cave bear fossils were excavated; the site was protected in 1928 and declared a natural monument in 1949. Günter Auferbauer. Grazer Hausberge: mit Mur- und Mürztal. Bergverlag Rother GmbH. pp. 34–. ISBN 978-3-7633-4292-1. Othenio Abel. Die Drachenhöhle bei Mixnitz: Tafelband. Verlag Österr. Staatsdr
Bacho Kiro cave
The Bacho Kiro cave is situated 5 km west of the town Dryanovo, only 300 m away from the Dryanovo Monastery. It is embedded in the canyons of the Dryanovo River, it was opened in 1890 and the first recreational visitors entered the cave in 1938, two years before it was renamed in honor of Bulgarian National Revival leader and revolutionary Bacho Kiro. The cave is a four-storey labyrinth of galleries and corridors with a total length of 3,600 m, 700 m of which are maintained for public access and equipped with electrical lights since 1964. An underground river has over time carved out the many galleries that contain countless stalactone and stalagmite speleothem formations of great beauty. Galleries and caverns of a 1,200 m long section have been musingly named as a popular description of this fairy-tale underground world; the formations succession: Bacho Kiro’s Throne, The Dwarfs, The Sleeping Princess, The Throne Hall, The Reception Hall, The Haidouti Meeting-Ground, The Fountain and the Sacrificial Altar.
The site has yielded the oldest human remains to be found in Bulgaria. Among one of the earliest known Aurignacian burials, two pierced animal teeth were found and ordered into the distinct Bachokiran artifact assemblage. Radiocarbon dated to over 43,000 years ago, they represent the oldest known ornaments in Europe. With an approximate age of 46,000 years, human fossils consist of a pair of fragmented mandibles. Whether these early humans were in fact Homo sapiens or Neanderthals is still disputed. Dryanovo Monastery
The Tischofer Cave is a cave in the Kaisertal valley in the Kaisergebirge mountains in Austria. It was a locally important gathering place and weapons cache during the Tyrolean Rebellion in the Napoleonic Wars; the 40 m long cave, about 8.5 m high at the entrance, was occupied by cave bears and other predators as shelter during the Paleolithic as evidenced by numerous excavated skeletal remains. Bone tools of paleo-human inhabitants made of cave bear bones and skulls discovered here and dated to about 27,000 - 28,000 years ago may be viewed in the local history museum in the fortress at Kufstein; that dating makes the Tischofer Cave the oldest known uncontested site of human occupation in Tyrol. Discoveries of more recent human skeletons and associated tools indicate that the cave served as a copper smithy and foundry during the Bronze Age; the Tischofer Cave may be reached on foot via the Kaiser Path in the Kaisertal valley, a pathway secured with cable railings. It is recorded in the Tyrolean Cave Register as number 1312/001.
Article from Hofmann: Wege im Inntal with comprehensive description Die Tischofer Höhle im Kaisertal bei Kufstein at www.tirol-infos.at. Tischofer Höhle im Kaisertal at www.kaisergebirge-online.de