|Vistehola / Vistehulen|
View of the entrance to the cave
|Depth||9 metres (30 ft)|
|Length||5 metres (16 ft)|
|Height variation||3 metres (9.8 ft)|
|Altitude||16 metres (52 ft)|
Svarthola or Vistehola is a cave which is located in Randaberg municipality in Rogaland county, Norway. The cave is located on the Viste farm, about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) northwest of the city of Stavanger. The 9-metre (30 ft) deep cave is located near the shore of the Visteviga bay, at the mouth of the Hafrsfjorden. The cave is very old, and it has many Stone Age artifacts that have been discovered in and around the cave.
During the Stone Age, the cave was the main shelter for a group of about 25 people starting around 6000 BC. These people were mainly hunter-gatherers, and around 4000 BC they also started with agriculture. Stone Age people of Vistehola can be characterized as wild boar hunters. Bones of moose and seals were also found. Since around 2000 BC, their main activity was farming.
The site was first studied in 1907 and 1910, and again in 1939 and 1941. The discovered materials are extremely well preserved and provide important information about how these people lived during the Stone Age, from between 6,000 to 8,000 years ago. Cultural layers form a total of four periods of different settlement. The greater discovery group includes hunting and fishing implements of stone, antlers, and bone meal as well as residues of shells and precious items. The youngest settlement stems from the Iron Age. The others are from older and younger Stone Age (Mesolithic and Neolithic).
The cave houses an inhabited area of approximately 100 square metres (1,100 sq ft) and is located about 250 metres (820 ft) north of today's shoreline. Excavation of the site revealed implement waste and also traces of funerals. At the east wall of the cave was found a skeleton of a 15-year-old boy who lived about 7,500 years ago. It is one of the oldest finds of human remains in Norway.
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