Karl Mais


Since 1971 speleological and paleontological investigations have been carried out in the quarry “Hollitzer” which is in the Pfaffenberg near Bad Deutsch Altenburg (Hainburger Berge, Lower Austria). Evident karst phenomena are missing at the surface, but the existence of caves filled with sediments in the quarry show that the area is a fossil buried karst. A steady scientific survey allowed the study of the karstic phenomena without hindering the work in the quarry. Up to now more than 150 cavities have been discovered. Most of them seem to belong to a unique solutional system; corrasive forms are missing. Fossils (Gasteropoda, Amphibia, reptiles, birds and mammals) have been found in more than twenty cave fills. The oldest findings can be dated from the middle to the recent Pliocene (Csarnotanum), the more recent ones to the older Pleistocene (Villanyium; Biharium) the material is well preserved. Its variety in species and individuals as well as the possibility for a biostratigraphical evaluation makes the findings of Pfaffenberg a particular source for the above mentioned periods. The investigations are still continuing.