Cave Links: June 2014

Explorer trapped in Germany’s deepest cave.

Johann Westhauser was one of the team who discovered the Riesending cave system in Germany in 1995. The thrill was such that he returned, again and again, to discover its extremities. The cave’s name translates as Giant Thing, and it has lived up to the title recently.

Caver Westhauser rescue.
Caver Westhauser rescue.

However, on 6 June, Westhauser was struck by a rockfall, and has been stranded a thousand metres beneath the earth’s surface. His situation triggered perhaps the largest rescue attempt of a caver ever seen in Europe. He has now begun his journey out to sunlight, with the support of more than 200 volunteer rescuers. Read more here

UPDATE June 20: Westhauser was finally brought to the surface after the complex 12-day rescue operation, Bavaria’s mountain rescue service says.

Cave dig unearths 45,000 year old artefacts

An archeological dig has revealed artefacts of early occupation so old they rival the dates of those found at sites of the earliest human settlement in Australia.

The animal bones and charcoal were found at the Ganga Maya Cave (named by traditional owners meaning ‘house on the hill’) in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The cave, close to an active iron ore mine, is of even more significance because it is believed to have been settled continuously and right through the Ice Age up until about 1700 years ago. Read more here