Gudenus Cave: The Earliest Humans of Austria

By Robert G. Bednarik

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Summarising 60 years of research by the author at the earliest human occupation site known in Austria (1962 to 2021), this book describes the strategies and methods of studying a Pleistocene cave site that had been regarded as fully excavated, and their long-term applications.

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Contents

Preface ;

Chapter 1: History of Gudenus Cave ;

The pre-1962 investigations ;

The post-1962 investigations ;

The scientific status of Gudenus Cave in 1962 ;

Chapter 2: Gudenus Cave and its environment ;

Geography and geology ;

The cave ;

Past and present environmental settings ;

The speleoclimate of Gudenus Cave ;

Hydrology and sedimentation ;

Chapter 3: Archaeology and palaeontology of Gudenus Cave – the data ;

The 1963 to 1966 salvage excavations ;

The new lithic implements ;
The Occupation Layer I stone tools ;
The Occupation Layer II stone tool ;
The Occupation Layer III stone tools ;
The Occupation Layer IV stone tools ;

The palaeoart ;

The palaeontology of the cave ;
Bone fragmentation study of the post-1962 bone remains ;
Summary — faunal remains ;

Chapter 4: Sediments of Gudenus Cave ;

The sedimentary analyses ;
Methods of sediment analyses ;
Description of the sediment samples ;

Reconstructing the sediment stratigraphy ;

The pollen and spore analysis ;

The carbonate diffraction study ;

Chapter 5: Interpretation of Gudenus Cave data ;

Recapping ;

The new interpretations ;
The sediment stratigraphy ;
The climatic and environmental sequence ;
The hominin occupations ;
The history of Gudenus Cave ;

Chapter 6: The Palaeolithic context of Gudenus Cave ;

The Lower Austrian context ;

The broader Austrian context ;

The central European context ;

The global context ;

A synopsis ;

References ;

Index

About the Author

Robert G. Bednarik is the Convener and Editor-in-Chief of the International Federation of Rock Art Organisations and is affiliated with Hebei Normal University, China. His principal research interests are the origins of the human ability to create constructs of reality, the evolution of humans, and a variety of fields providing supplementary information in that quest, including the world’s rock art. He has produced more than 1350 academic publications.