Research history

In the spring of 1996 the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) emptied out an area of ca. 64 m2 within the cave with the help of local residents. At this time, the first possible artefacts were found in the sediments and sent to the National Board of Antiquities. Wolf Cave was protected under the Antiquities Act pending further investigations.

In June, 1997 the National Board of Antiquities in collaboration with the Geological Survey of Finland initiated a test excavation in order to assess the archaeological value of the cave. The results were very encouraging.

A multidisciplinary research project for investigations of Susiluola cave involving the National Board of Antiquities Department of Archaeology, the Geological Survey of Finland, the Helsinki University Department of Geology, and the Helsinki University Dating Laboratory was initiated in the winter of 1998. The 1998 summer field investigations lasted from 31.5. to 3.7. During the excavations were discovered numerous sandstone artefacts and flakes. The most important finds were the trampled pavement of the layer IV and the signs of fire. Two additional sediment layers were discovered under the sediment layer IV.

In 1999 more extensive excavations than ever before were conducted from 24.5. to 8.7. At that time two new caves were discovered on the north and northwest slopes of Susivuori hill. At least one of these caves has an opening larger than that of Wolf Cave – unfortunately its opening collapsed slightly after the last ice age. These caves were almost entirely filled with earth so their interior heights could not be determined.

The National Board of Antiquities was able to allocate significantly less research funds in for work in the year 2000. Because of this, excavations were limited to just three weeks time. Excavations were also conducted outside of the cave.

Because of the danger of collapse in the cave, no excavations were conducted during the summer of 2001. This threat of collapse was due to changes in temperature and moisture conditions caused by the partial excavation of the cave.

The cave was reinforced with steel bolts and mortar joints in such a way that, with exception of the ceiling net, the added supports are not noticeable. There were no excavations during the summer of 2002, but reinforcing the cave has made it possible to continue excavations in future years.

Only small scale control excavation.

Excavations 21.7. – 26.8.2004

Excavations 30.5. – 7.7.2005

Artefacts retrieved from the cave so far include some 200 identified tools (e.g. unifacial chopper, a notched implement, a broad side scraper, a small round scraper, a denticulated implement and a hammerstone) and about 600 stone flakes and chips probably left from the work of fashioning stone tools. (Source: The National Board of Antiquities)