Located at the Ilm valley,
Taubach looks back on a long and chequered history.
Here, where the Ilm takes its most meandering course, already settled Neanderthals at the end of the Saale glaciation before more than 100,000 years. This oldest known ancestors had to made no long journeys to experience some things - the fauna was dominated by huge forest rhinos (Stephanorhinus kirchbergensis), Taubach brown bears (Ursus arctos taubachensis), large bovids (Bovidae) such as steppe wisents (Bison priscus) and auerochsen (Bos primigenius) as well as European beavers (Castor fiber) at that time. But steppe rhinos (Dicerorhinus hemitoechus), forest elephants (Palaeoloxodon antiquus), cave bears (Ursus spelaeus), lions (Panthera leo), cave hyenas (Crocuta crocuta spelaea), giant (Megaloceros giganteus) and red deers (Cervus elaphus), roe deers (Capreolus capreolus), wild boars (Sus scrofa) and Taubach wild horses (Equus taubachensis) were native at the middle course of the river Ilm in those days too.
Local peoples mined travertine in the 19th century, which was called Werkstravertin (ashlar travertine), in several travertine quarries (Ernst, Hänsgen, Mehlhorn, Sonnrein, Vollmar …) in an area north of present-day Ilmtalstraße and roughly bounded by the streets Auf dem Steinberge / An der Schatzgrube / Hardtgasse. Travertine is a more or less pervious, yellowish to brownish coloured limestone, whose lime was carried in the water of a freshwater brook and in smaller ponds and deposited there. This didn't go on as an uninterrupted process. Organic carbon compounds also were included, which resulted in formation of "Stinkkalken" (stink lime - smash it with a hammer and you can smell it). All this deposits are halted with more or less thick disposits of travertin sand. From one of these travertin sand layers, which later became known as the "Knochensand" (bone sand) or "Herzschicht" (heart layer), could be recovered more than 900 stone tools and 4,500 mammal relicts, many of this well-preserved. Mr Sonnrein discovered the first molar tooth of a 12- to 14-years old child in his travertine quarry in 1887 and Taubach became famous because this numerous archaeological finds aftermath. The primeval hunters left their intersections on many of this bones and bone fragments. They prepared their food by the fire like their ancestors did it since several hundred thousand years, as indicated charcoal, charred bones and ashes, all found in "Brandschichten" (brand layers), as well as traces of reddened or blackened travertine. Unfortunately, the former mining area has now been built over and wasn't developed for tourism. Alternatively you can still be visit the outdoor area with research pillar of the Museum of Pre- and Ancient History in Weimar-Ehringsdorf. Although the travertine deposited itself in a completely different structure there than in Taubach, you can get a certain impression, because even seen is even experienced and not only admired on television or in pictures. You can get more impressions and information about the life of our ancestors by visiting the permanent exhibition of the Museum of Pre- and Ancient History in Weimar, Humboldtstraße 11.
The remains of the people who lived in the Eem-warm period were not excavated only in Taubach. Their traces were found in Slovakia (Gánovce), Hungary (Tata) and Moravia (Kůlna cave) too. They liked to live on a warm, travertine-forming spring and made tools from splittable materials like quartz, quartzite, fire stone and others. But also the bones of their hunting booty, as well as the antlers of red deers, were turned into tools. Because the people of this culture had much in common, they were named "Taubachian" (Taubacher, Taubachien) in accord to their find spot.
Taubach was the first place in Germany, that proved human presence in the Ice Age.
But this was not the only discovery in the ground of Taubach …