— In Finland, there are still many unexplored ancient caves that hold many secrets. One of them is called Varggrottan, which means the Wolf Cave in English.
When archaeologists explored the mysterious cave, they found a number of artifacts that suggest this was home to Neanderthals 130,000 years ago.
There is still a debate about these controversial artifacts unearthed in the cave, but if they did belong to the Neanderthals, then there is no doubt that Varggrottan holds a special place in history, making it one of the oldest discovered homes of ancient people in Scandinavia.
There is no lack of caves in Finland. The Finnish caves are small by international standards, but it does not make them less interesting. It is estimated there are about 1,000 ancient caves and a majority of them are unexplored.
Throughout the course of history, Finnish caves have been a hiding place for thieves and deserters hid. Monks sometimes inhabited caves and it was also common that people held religious ceremonies or rituals in those underground worlds.
Ancient Finnish myths and legends tell how the caves were haunted by of supernatural beings such as spirits and demons. The caves held a special place in Finnish folklore, and yet there is still so little we known about these enigmatic ancient places.
Located in Pyhävuori mountain in Kristinestad, near the Karijoki municipality in Finland, the Varggrottan is basically a crack in the mountain that has been packed with soil.
Based on discoveries made in the cave, many archaeologists think that the cave was inhabited about 75,000 to 130,000 years ago, before the modern man appeared in Europe. Over the years, as many as 200 artifacts, some 600 pieces of strike waste, scrapers and bolt stone, and heated stones from an open fire have been found here.
Those in favor of the theory argue that the artifacts were worked in a way that is typical of the Middle Paleolithic, but not all scientists are convinced whether Neanderthals actually settled in the cave.If the artifacts are genuine, then the Wolf Cave – Varggrottan is Finland’s oldest and only so-called Paleolithic archaeological site.
The main question that still has to be answered is: Are the ancient objects man-made or a work of nature? There is a disagreement among scientists and some argue that the artifacts do not resemble Neanderthal objects discovered in for example France. Another objection against the Neanderthal theory is that cave was located under water during the time period in question, and that there is no proof that fire was made there.
Hans-Peter Schulz of the National Board of Antiquities has defended the findings, saying that it is very possible that the cave was situated above water level at the time, and that soot from the fireplace that has been found is over 40,000 years old and cannot have come from outside the cave.
The justification that the pieces of stone found in the cave are actually products of human beings is, according to Schulz, that the objects have been exposed to a rapid and aimed blow, leaving a surface that does not look similar to one that has been exposed to exogenous processes, but does resemble those of man-made objects from the Paleolithic found in central Europe.
If Varggrottan is really the oldest known human settlement in Scandinavia, then we should also be able to find traces of Neanderthals in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, but it will take several more years before we will come to bottom with this ancient mystery.
Archaeology and cave research are still in early stages in Finland, but it doesn’t mean there is lack of ancient treasures in this beautiful country in Scandinavia.
One day in the future we hope scientists will be able to find more precious ancient artifacts and traces of ancient civilizations, and when they do we will be able to add the records to our history books.
Written by Ellen Lloyd – AncientPages.com
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About the author:Ellen Lloyd – is the owner of AncientPages.com and an author who has spent decades researching ancient mysteries, myths, legends and sacred texts, but she is also very interested in astronomy, astrobiology and science in general