Old Stone Age (Paleolithic Period), earliest period of human pre-history (in Austria, 300,000 - 8,000 B.C.); the following period of Prehistory is the Middle Stone Age. The Old Stone Age is characterised by acquisitive economic activity (nomadic hunters and gatherers). The earliest traces of humans in Austria, which are approximately 300,000 years old, have been found in the Repolust Cave near Peggau in Styria, which contained several fireplaces and stone implements used by cave bear hunters. It is now believed that, in the area of today's Austria, Neanderthal people were superseded by the forebears of modern Man between 40,000 and 35,000 B.C. These new inhabitants were already hunters of steppe animals (mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, reindeer, bison and wild horse). Among the impressive specimens of paleolithic art in Austria are two female statuettes, the Venus vom Galgenberg found near Stratzing (approx. 30,000 B.C.) in 1988 and the Venus von Willendorf (approx. 25,000 B.C.).Other paleolithic finds were made at: Aggsbach, Gudenus Cave near Hartenstein, Herdengel Cave near Lunz am Teufelsrast - Felsdach Finds near Albrechtsberg, Krems-Hundssteig, Langenlois, Langmannersdorf (all in Lower Austria), Upper Austria: Ramesch Cave near Spital am Pyhrn, Styria: Salzofen Cave near Bad Aussee, Tyrol: Tischof Cave near Kufstein; Salzburg: Unken.
Literature#O. H. Urban, Wegweiser in die Urgeschichte Oesterreichs, 1989; J.-W. Neugebauer, Oesterreichs Urzeit, 1990; C. Neugebauer-Maresch, Archaeologie im Osten Oesterreichs, 1993.