Did you know, that last month, six caves in southern Germany were awarded World Heritage Status by UNESCO - the United Nations' cultural agency?
These caves have been home to items dating back more than 40,000 years. It is estimated that modern-day humans arrived in Europe 43,000 years ago during the last ice age, so these caves give us a glimpse into the life of early humans.
These six caves, which are located in the Swabian Jura (a mountain range in southern Germany) were first discovered in the 1860s. Findings from inside the caves include over 50 animal figurines (cave lions, mammoths, horses and cattle), musical instruments (such as a flute made of vulture bone) and other types of art. A figurine of a female (known as the “Venus of Höhle Fels”) was discovered in 2008.
Other findings in the caves include tools used by Neanderthals, some of which are over 60,000 years old.
The findings prove that the lives of early humans was about more than just hunting and eating; music and art was present even among our ancestors.
Although these German caves are not a new discovery, their status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is new. This designation means that the site is considered important to the collective interests of humanity and will be under legal protection by international treaties. Germany currently has 42 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, most of which are cultural but a few of which – like the caves – are natural.
taken from The Week in Germany – Webteam, Germany.info