Hohlenstein-Stadel is a cave located at N 48° 32' 57.57" and E 10° 10' 20.75" in the Hohlenstein cliff (not to be confused with the Hohle Fels) at the southern rim of the Lonetal (Lone valley) in Swabian Alb, Germany. While first excavations were started after the second half of the 19th century, it was not until 1969 that the significance of some of the findings were realized. The most significant finding was a small, ivory statue dubbed Lion Man which is one of the oldest known sculptures in the world.
The name of the cliff is derived from a combination of Hohlenstein meaning 'Hollow Rock' and Stadel meaning 'Barn'. The Hohlenstein cliffs are made of limestone which was hollowed out by natural causes to create caves. The Stadel is one of three caves that are of important paleontological and archaeological significance. The other two are die kleine Scheuer (small barn) and the Bärenhöhle (Bear's Cave).
The first excavations at Hohlenstein were made in the year 1861 by Oskar Fraas who was searching for bear bones. The finding of the Lion Man sculpture came on a later expedition in 1939 by archaeologist Robert Wetzel. However the excavation was stopped abruptly due to the outbreak of World War II, so the artifacts were collected and donated to the Museum of Ulm in Ulm, Germany. It was not until decades later that a museum worker came across the archeological findings and assembled the pieces to the Lion Man. Robert Wetzel returned to Hohlenstein-Stadel in 1954 and continued excavating there until his death in 1961. Many pre-historic artifacts and Cro-Magnon remains were discovered.
- http://www.showcaves.com/english/de/caves/Hohlenstein.html Brief Hohlenstein-Stadel History