Chapter 1

Introduction

Cajus G. Diedrich

Abstract

The Sophie’s Cave (Bavaria, Germany), is one of the oldest show caves in Germany, and even one of the famous Late Pleistocene cave bear den caves in Europe. The cave is situated with several other famous and larger cave bear den caves, such as the Zoolithen Cave and Große Teufels Cave (latter also show cave) in one of the most cave-rich regions of Germany, the Franconia Karst especially along the Wisent and Ahorn River valleys. The confusing names of the “Rabenstein Cave” (because of its close topographic situation to the Rabenstein Castle), and later named Sophie’s Cave cave parts were renamed systematically. Along the historical wooden steps and trail several sherded ceramic lamps and pottery pieces were found, which are from the “oldest cave lighting system” known in a German show cave reaching back to its discovery in 1833. After the first report of the cave by the German priest Esper in 1774, several famous European natural scientists such as Rosenmüller, Goldfuss, Graf zu Münster, Buckland and Sternberg collected or started to describe first bone finds from the first discovered cave parts, which material went partly to Prague, Bayreuth or are lost. The youngest historical finds which seem to be in connection with the visitor show cave are few militaria from the King Ludwig I (1825-1848) regentship time.

Total Pages: 3-25 (23)

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