Urgeschichte und Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie

Vogelherd

Vogelherd is a cave located about 1 km northwest of Stetten, Kreis Heidenheim, at the right shore of the river Lone, ca. 18 m above today's valley floor. The cave formed in calcite rock in the Upper Jurassic. It has three entry points which face south, southwest and northwards.  

After the cave had been coincidentally discovered in spring 1931, Gustav Riek led the archaeological investigations at the site and excavated the cave in the short span of 3 months. Middle Palaeolithic, Aurignacien, Magdalénien and Neolithic layers have been documented, the Aurignacien layers being among the most important due to their significant numbers of finds. The most spectactular finds are undoubtedly the ivory figurines from Vogelherd, which are some of the earliest evidence of human's capability to create art. 

Because of the excavation methods applied by Riek which would be considered crude by today's standards, many finds were missed in 1931. To right this wrong, the overburden of the excavations is being examined by Tübingen archaeologists since summer 2005 and continuing until today. So far, numerous kinds of jewelry, primarily from the Aurignacien and fragments of flutes, one of which was made from mammoth ivory, have been recovered. Additionally, more ivory figurines have been discovered, among them the sensational find of an intact figurine depicting a mammoth. 

Vogelherd is one of four sites in the Ach and Lone valley where the earliest evidence for art and music has been found. 

In the Landesaustellung 2009: Ice age art and culture, the finds from Vogelherd were prominently featured. In this exhibition, the finds from the overburden examinations were presented to the public for the first time. 

 

Primary literature

Conard, N.J., Malina, M. & Zeidi Kulehparcheh, M., 2010. Neue Kunst und erste Einblicke in ungestörte Schichten am Vogelherd. Archäologische Ausgrabungen Baden-Württemberg 2009, 57-61.

 

Conard, N. J., 2009….und noch mehr Tiere! Die neuen Kleinkunstwerke vom Hohle Fels und vom Vogelherd. In: Eiszeit-Kunst und Kultur. Begleitband zur Großen Landesausstellung Baden-Württemberg (Ostfildern 2009). 259-266.

Conard, N.J., Malina, M. & Verrept, T., 2009. Weitere Belege für eiszeitliche Kunst und Musik aus den Nachgrabungen 2008 am Vogelherd bei Niederstotzingen-Stetten ob Lontal, Kreis Heidenheim. Archäologische Ausgrabungen Baden-Württemberg 2008, 23-26. academia  

Conard, N.J., Malina, M. & Miller, C.E., 2008. Die Fortsetzung der Nachgrabung am Vogelherd bei Niederstotzingen-Stetten ob Lontal, Kreis Heidenheim. Archäologische Ausgrabungen Baden-Württemberg 2007. S. 21-24.  academia

Conard, N.J., Lingnau, M. & Malina, M., 2007. Einmalige Funde durch die Nachgrabung am Vogelherd bei Niederstotzingen-Stetten ob Lontal, Kreis Heidenheim. Archäologische Ausgrabungen Baden-Württemberg 2006. S. 20-24. 

Conard, N. J. & Malina, M., 2006. Schmuck und vielleicht auch Musik am Vogelherd bei Niederstotzingen-Stetten ob Lontal, Kreis Heidenheim. Archäologische Ausgrabungen Baden-Württemberg 2005. 21-25. 

Conard, N. J., Niven, L., Mueller, K., & Stuart, A., 2003. The Chronostratigraphy of the Upper Paleolithic Deposits at Vogelherd. Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Urgeschichte 12: 73-86.

Wagner, E. 1979. Untersuchungen an der Vogelherdhöhle im Lonetal bei Niederstotzingen, Kreis Heidenheim. Archäologische Ausgrabungen Baden-Württemberg 1978. S. 7-10.

Riek, G. 1934. Die Eiszeitjägerstation am Vogelherd im Lonetal 1.

Further literature

Conard, N. J., Bolus, M., Goldberg, P., Münzel, S. C., 2006. The last Neanderthals and first modern humans in the Swabian Jura. In When Neanderthals and Modern Humans Met. Edited by N. J. Conard. Kerns Verlag: Tübingen. pp. 305-341.

 

Conard, N. J. 2006. Changing Views of the Relationship between Neanderthals and Modern Humans. In When Neanderthals and Modern Humans Met. Edited by N. J. Conard. Kerns Verlag: Tübingen. pp. 5-20.

Conard, N. J. 2006. Die letzten Neandertaler und die ersten modernen Menschen auf der Schwäbischen Alb. In Roots: Wurzel der Menschheit. Edited by G. Uelsberg. Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn. pp. 227-242.

Teyssandier, N., Bolus, M. & Conard, N. J., 2006. The Early Aurignacian in central Europe and its place in a European perspective. In Toward a Definition of the Aurignacian. Edited by O. Bar-Yosef and J. Zilhao. Trabalhos de Arcqueologia 45. 241-256.

Conard, N. J. and M. Bolus. 2006. The Swabian Aurignacian and its Place in European Prehistory. In Toward a Definition of the Aurignacian. Edited by O. Bar-Yosef and J. Zilhao. Trabalhos de Arcqueologia 45. 209-237.

Bolus, M. & Conard, N. J., 2006. Zur Zeitstellung von Geschossspitzen aus organischen Materialien im späten Mittelpaläolithikum und Aurignacien. Archäologisches Korrespondenzblatt 36: 1-16.

Conard, N. J., 2005. Auringacian art in Swabia and the beginnings of figurative representation in Europe. In Pitture paleolithiche nelle Prealpe Venete: Grotta di Fumane e Riparo Dalmeri. Edited by Alberto Broglio and Giampaolo Dalmeri. Memorie del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Verona Series 2. Sezione Scienze dell’Uomo 9: 82-88.

Conard, N. J., 2005. Sind sich Neandertaler und moderne Menschen auf der Schwäbischen Alb begegnet? In Vom Neandertaler zum modernen Menschen. Edited by N. J. Conard, S. Kölbl and W. Schürle. Thorbecke Verlag: Ostfildern. pp. 131-152.Conard, N. J., Grootes, P. M. & Smith, F. H., 2004. Unexpectedly recent dates for human remains from Vogelherd. Nature 430: 198-201.

Conard, N. J. 2004. Altsteinzeitliche Ausgrabungen in den Höhlen der Schwäbischen Alb und die Anfänge der Kunst und Musik. Festvortrag Archäologie-Preis Baden-Württemberg 2002. Archäologische Informationen aus Baden-Württemberg 48:30-48.