Horná Túfna Cave
The Horná Túfna Cave
One of the most famous archaeological sites in Slovakia is located in the immediate vicinity of Kráľová Studna – the Horná Túfna cave, known for its wealth of rare finds. In the location of Horná Túfna cave, we find traces of the oldest settlement around Banská Bystrica. The director of the Banská Bystrica girls’ high school, Christian Andrej Zipser, is mentioned among the first researchers that we know of who did archaeological research here. In the autumn of 1838, he excavated 270 bones of prehistoric animals in the cave. Among them, six skulls were found, one of which was almost half a meter long. In the years of the First World War, T. Kormos worked in this location, later Ing. Fr. Schön and in the 1930s A. Liebus and A. Král, who also excavated bones of a cave bear here.
The importance of the location at that time is also evidenced by the fact that it was visited and minor research was done here by prof. dr. K. Absolon, at that time the head of excavations in the most important site from the Old Stone Age in Bohemia – Dolní Věstonice, and is considered one of the discoverers of the famous “Vestonic” Venus. According to the reports of the mentioned researchers, the remains of a cave bear and a hearth were found under the sinter layer in the cave gravel and clay, which was located near the northern side of the cave at a slightly elevated place. Not only coals, but also charred and pierced bones were found on the hearth. Dr. J. Skutil considers this cave to be a remarkable Old Paleolithic station in Slovakia. The most important Slovak researchers devoted to the early Stone Age, J. Bárta and L. Bánesz, assumed that it was only a seasonal settlement by bear hunters.
They estimated its age in the range of 40,000-31,000 years. Unfortunately, the tools of bear hunters have not been preserved, according to which it would be possible to specify the period of their presence. The authors concluded that carefully prepared and conducted research could yield interesting results. However, this has not yet taken place, despite the significant devastation of the site.