The head of the German delegation to the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee, Minister of State Maria Böhmer, issued the following statement today (9 July):
As the most recent German World Heritage site, the caves and ice age art in the Swabian Jura allow us to follow the oldest traces left by human settlement in Europe. The objects found here, such as the Venus of Hohle Fels, are fascinating examples of prehistoric art which have also left a deep impression on me personally.
In Kraków today, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee inscribed the caves and ice age art in Swabian Jura in Land Baden‑Württemberg on the World Heritage List. They are among the most important archaeological sites worldwide. All the objects come from cave sites in two valleys in the Swabian Alps – the Achtal approximately 15 km to the west of Ulm, and the Lonetal around 20 km north east of Ulm. The miniature works of art discovered here and the musical instruments made of ivory and bone are unique testimonies to the history of humankind. They include the ivory mammoth from the Vogelherd Cave, the Venus of Hohle Fels and the Lion‑man of the Hohlenstein‑Stadel. Eight flutes are also among the finds. The objects are between 32,000 and 43,000 years old.