Welcome to Cave Archaeology
A community-based website where you can explore archaeology in caves.
A resource for cave research.
Cave Archaeology is a community-based website where users can share information about cave research. It is user-generated by cavers, archaeologists, scientists, and adventurers. Sign up as a subscriber to get updates, or enroll as a contributor to add your findings, organization, or news.
In the news.
Call for papers for the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) conference, to be held in Vancouver, Canada between the 29th March and 2nd April 2017. The theme of our symposium is: 'Contested Caves: The Politics of Underground Places'. The idea is to move beyond...read more
France's iconic Chauvet cave holds mysterious spray-shaped imagery, made around the time when nearby volcanoes were spewing lava. Read the full article...read more
Archaeologists have found tortoise remains showing signs of preparation and cooking at Qesem Cave near Tel Aviv, Israel. Archaeological remains from the caves dates from about 400,000 years ago. The results were published in the Quaternary Science Reviews. Read the...read more
“Caves are special places. They are mysterious. They captivate us.
They draw us in.”Holly Moyes
Caves have been used throughout human history. Our earliest hominid (pre-human) ancestors used rock shelters and the entrances to caves to shelter. Later, humans and Neanderthals ventured into caves to hunt bears, as well as make art. Ritual use of caves begins over 50,000 years ago with mud sculptures and cave paintings. Use of caves extended around the world as humans migrated to every continent.
Today evidence of past cultures can be found in caves around the world. Join the search by reading about projects or posting your own!
Get started and add your project.
Join the community to add your project and share ideas, findings, and tips. Its free!
“Ethnography and archaeology link caves to the fundamental belief systems of people who see themselves as an integral part of an animate and life-sustaining earth.”
James Brady and Keith Prufer
Explore, survey, and discover! Ever find something unexpected and want to know what it is or why it is there?
Write, map, and photograph! Report your findings to the community, which is composed of cavers, archaeologists, and scientists.
Upload and discuss! Get feedback on your findings. Feel secure- the community keeps locations confidential to protect sites and promote scientific study of archaeology in caves.
Discuss online or in meetings! The community extends around the world. Get information on the internet or through your grotto or at conferences.
“Nevertheless, the stubborn fact remains: the pyramid must be where it is and no nowhere else because the cave below it was the most sacred of sacred places.”
How is Cave Archaeology run?
Cave Archaeology is managed by the Cave Archaeology Investigation and Research Network (CAIRN), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. CAIRN’s mission is to integrate cave studies and archaeology through endeavors such as this website. CAIRN works with the caving community to bridge the gap between cavers and archaeologists, providing archaeological support to a number of cave research bodies.
Visit the CAIRN homepage to learn more and consider becoming a member today!