Urgeschichte und Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie

News from the Department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology


The colloquium of the Department for Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology takes place every Thursday at 11 c.t. in the practice room of the castle.


David Boysen & Elina Nordwald (University of Tübingen)

"EN: La Sénétrière - Eine prähistorische Freilandfundstelle im südlichen Burgund (Stone-et-oire, Frankreich). Morphologische und technologische Untersuchung der lithischen Artefaktinventare mit Fokus auf gravettienzeitliche Klingenkerne; DB: Chronologisches und geografisches Auftreten von Faustkeilen - Technologie und Funktion vs. Kultur/Tradition. Fallbeispiel: Fundstelle Charbonnières, Mâconnais und Beaujolais

CIERA-Meeting Arch. Alsace - Univ. Tübingen 23.5.-25.5.

The program of the conference can be downloaded here.

Ice Age Cave Art - Archaeologists from Tübingen find 12,000 year old animal depictions in France

Archaeologists from the University of Tübingen have discovered two caves with prehistoric cave art in the east of France. The carvings and paintings are at least 12,000 years old; they depict a horse and a stag-like animal amongst others. Professor Harald Floss from the Department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology and his working group managed to date the art with the help of colleagues from Spain.

The researchers from the University of Tübingen have been working in the East of France, especially the southern Bourgogne for more than 20 years. In this region, Neanderthals and modern people most likely met in the middle paleolithic. 

The full article can be found here

Interview with Nicolas J. Conard

In this podcast, Luke Fannin from the Undergraduate Anthropology Club at Ohio State interviews Dr. Nicholas Conard, an archaeologist at the University of Tubingen in Germany. In the interview, Dr. Conard discusses what drove his early interest in archaeology, how he began to study the relations between modern Homo sapiens and Neanderthals, and how his discoveries of early human symbolic culture - including some of the earliest examples of figurative sculpture and musical instruments - can tell us about the development of our species. You can find the podcast on soundcloud.

World Heritage Site: Ice age caves in the Swabian Jura

(Translation of the original text in German)

The UNESCO committee has named six caves in the Swabian Jura as World Heritage Sites: Krakau, Vogelherd, Bockstein, Hohlenstein-Stadel, Sirgenstein, Geißenklösterle and Hohle Fels.

Scientists from the University of Tübingen have been researching the caves of the Ach- and Lone valley since the beginning of the 20th century. Among the finds is some of the oldest evidence for art and music: the famous animal figurines from Vogelherd, the Venus from Hohle Fels and a bone flute were crafted more than 40,000 years ago during the last ice age. They constitute a unique insight into human history. 

"We are thrilled about these news: this award honors the decade-long archaeological and palaeontological research done at the University of Tübingen", says principal Professor Bernd Engler. "Once again, it displays the fact that Tübingen is doing remarkable scientific work with international importance."

This award is of outstanding merit, says Nicolas J. Conard, professor at Tübingen for Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology. He oversees the field work in the Swabian Jura since 1996. "The finds from the ice age caves display thee first modern humans' extraordinary creativity. Scientists from Tübingen have analysed these finds and made them accessible for the public. It is an important to us that this region has now been named a World Heritage Site."

"A university and its museum being a central part of a UNESCO-Heritage entry, that's unique in the world", says Professor Ernst Seidl, director of the MUT museum at the university of Tübingen. 

Most of the original finds are displayed at the Museum Alte Kulturen at the Hohentübingen castle; among them many ivory statuettes from Vogelherd and the newest of the finds, a bone flute fragment. 


On April 24th 2017, Stefanie Bealek was awarded the Rudolf-Virchow-Preis der Berliner Gesellschaft für Archäologie, Ethnologie und Urgeschichte for her master's thesis on teen pregnancies in archaeological/anthropological contexts  (palaeoanthropology): „Teenagerschwangerschaften" – ein modernes Phänomen? Junge Mütter im archäologisch-anthropologischen Kontext“. 

On November 17th 2017, Dr. Sybille Wolf was awarded the Kurt-Bittel-Preises für Süddeutsche Altertumskunde der Stadt Heidenheim. Her dissertation was about mammoth ivory jewellery: "Schmuckstücke - Die Elfenbeinbearbeitung im Schwäbischen Aurignacien".