Archaeologists unearth fragment of ivory belonging to 40,000 year old animal figurine

Archaeologists unearth fragment of ivory belonging to 40,000 year old animal figurine

Archaeologists from the University of Tübingen have found an ancient fragment of ivory belonging to a 40,000 year old animal figurine. Both pieces were found in the Vogelherd Cave in southwestern Germany, which has yielded a number of remarkable works of art dating to the Ice Age. The mammoth ivory figurine depicting a lion was discovered during excavations around eighty years ago. The new fragment makes up one side of the figurine's head, and the sculpture may be viewed at the Tübingen University Museum from 30 July.

"The figurine depicts a lion," says Professor Nicholas Conard of Tübingen University's Institute of Prehistory and Medieval Archaeology, and the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment Tübingen. "It is one of the most famous Ice Age works of art, and until now, we thought it was a relief, unique among these finds dating to the dawn of figurative art. The reconstructed figurine clearly is a three dimensional sculpture."

Vogelherd Cave, which covers an area of 170 square metres, is the richest of four caves in the region to have produced examples of the world’s earliest figurative art, dating back to the time when the first modern humans settled in Europe. The faunal assemblages suggest that the cave was used over tens of thousands of years for butchering, processing and consuming game resources. It was first discovered when Stone Age artefacts turned up from a badger’s burrow leading to a thorough exploration conducted by Gustav Riek in 1931.

Inside Vogelherd cave panorama. Credit: kubische-panoramen.de

The new fragment was discovered when today's archaeologists revisited the work of their predecessors from the 1930s. "We have been carrying out renewed excavations and analysis at Vogelherd Cave for nearly ten years," says Conard. "The site has yielded a wealth of objects that illuminate the development of early symbolic artifacts dating to the period when modern humans arrived in Europe and displaced the indigenous Neanderthals." He points out that the Vogelherd Cave has provided evidence of the world's earliest art and music and is a key element in the push to make the caves of the Swabian Jura a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Ivory figurines found in Vogelherd Cave, including horse, mammoth, bison, and lion

Overall, Vogelherd Cave has yielded more than two dozen figurines and fragments of figurines made from mammoth ivory, including wild horse, bison, reindeer, rhinoceros, mammoth, snow leopard, and human statuette. According to archaeologist Nicholas J. Conard from the University of Tübingen, the figurines are "among the oldest and most impressive examples of figurative artworks from the Ice Age”. They are in fact the oldest known pieces of art and are currently considered key elements in definitions for modern human behaviour and early cultural innovation.

Source: The above story is based on materials provided by Science Daily .

Featured image: The fragment on the left makes up half the head of the animal figure on the right, showing that the “lion” was fully three-dimensional, and not a relief as long thought. Credit: Hilde Jensen, Universität Tübingen


    Tübingen archaeologists find « new » fragment of ivory belonging to 40,000 year old lion

    The fragment on the left makes up half the head of the animal figure on the right, showing that the “lion” was fully three-dimensional, and not a relief as long thought. Photo: Hilde Jensen, Universität Tubingen.

    TÜBINGEN.- Archaeologists from the University of Tübingen have found an ancient fragment of ivory belonging to a 40,000 year old animal figurine. Both pieces were found in the Vogelherd Cave in southwestern Germany, which has yielded a number of remarkable works of art dating to the Ice Age. The mammoth ivory figurine depicting a lion was discovered during excavations in 1931. The new fragment makes up one side of the figurine’s head, and the sculpture may be viewed at the Tübingen University Museum.

    The figurine depicts a lion,” says Professor Nicholas Conard of Tübingen University’s Institute of Prehistory and Medieval Archaeology, and the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment Tübingen. “It is one of the most famous Ice Age works of art, and until now, we thought it was a relief, unique among these finds dating to the dawn of figurative art. The reconstructed figurine clearly is a three dimensional sculpture.”

    The new fragment was discovered when today’s archaeologists revisited the work of their predecessors from the 1930s. “We have been carrying out renewed excavations and analysis at Vogelherd Cave for nearly ten years,” says Conard. “The site has yielded a wealth of objects that illuminate the development of early symbolic artifacts dating to the period when modern humans arrived in Europe and displaced the indigenous Neanderthals.” He points out that the Vogelherd Cave has provided evidence of the world’s earliest art and music and is a key element in the push to make the caves of the Swabian Jura a UNESCO World Heritage site.

    Vogelherd is one of four caves in the region where the world’s earliest figurines have been found, dating back to 40,000 years ago. Several dozen figurines and fragments of figurines have been found in the Vogelherd alone, and researchers are piecing together thousands of mammoth ivory fragments.

    The new-look lion can be seen at the University Museum in Hohentübingen Castle, Wed.-Sun., 10am – 5pm and Thursdays 10am – 7pm.


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    9 Illyrian Ivory Tablets

    In 1979, an Albanian archaeologist discovered five 1,800-year-old ivory tablets during excavations of Durres. Fatos Tartari found the wax-coated tablets within a glass urn, which was also filled with two styluses, an ebony comb, and black liquid.

    The urn was in an aristocratic woman&rsquos tomb. The unknown liquid preserved the ivory tablets. Otherwise, wax typically detaches and disintegrates as soon as it loses moisture.

    A team of German and Albanian scientists have recently deciphered the inscriptions, which shed light on the former Roman colony of Dyrrachium in the second century AD. The records indicate that women played a prominent role in ancient Illyrian culture.

    The tablets indicate that the woman buried in the tomb worked as a moneylender. One record indicates that she was owed a debt of 20,000 denarii&mdash10 times the annual wage of Roman soldiers. According to ancient historians, Illyrian women fought alongside men and held political power.


    &lsquoFreud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing&rsquo on view at the Freud Museum in London

    LONDON.- A new exhibition, &lsquoFreud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing&rsquo, explores Sigmund Freud&rsquos revolutionary ideas on love and the libidinal drive with an innovative combination of Freud&rsquos own art collection, his writings and letters, together with the response of contemporary artists.

    Edmund de Waal, And Speech, 2013, 18 porcelain vessels unglazed and glazed in celadons, in a pair of aluminium and plexiglass vitrines. 50 x 80 x 15 cm each, 6cm apart 50 x 80 x 36 cm overall. © the artist

    Love remains an ever intriguing and complex emotion. To examine Freud&rsquos theories on this topic, key works in his collection are being displayed, including statues of Eros, and other erotic and related deities and objects. Freud&rsquos antiquities are usually in his study at the Freud Museum, evocatively arranged as when Sigmund Freud was present. This exhibition, situated in the upstairs gallery, gives visitors the opportunity to view these rare and beautiful works close up.

    Phallus amulet, Ivory, Japan, probably 19th Century. Museum number 3409. Image © Freud Museum London

    Freud&rsquos theories on Eros, the love force and libido of psychoanalysis, also provide the context for an investigation of Sigmund Freud&rsquos personal experiences. Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing&rsquo traces his passionate courtship of his future wife Martha Bernays. The couple exchanged literally hundreds of letters during their four year engagement. A selection of their letters, newly translated into English for this exhibition, reveals a relationship that was both ardent and intellectual. Personal memorabilia, including family photographs, supplement this intimate aspect of Freud&rsquos life.

    Rachel Kneebone, &lsquoRemember that we sometimes…&rsquo, 2014. Courtesy of the Artist and White Cube

    Eros, the Greek god of love, the winged messenger of desire, is well represented in Freud&rsquos stunning collection of around two and a half thousand antiquities. Freud explored the meaning of Eros in his writings, and the exhibition draws out the profound connections between classical Greek culture, the works collected by Freud and the development of psychoanalysis. To Freud, Eros could spark the civilizing force of love that resulted in fulfilling relationships as well as unleashing turbulent, unbridled and destructive emotions.

    The Freud Museum often imaginatively uses highly regarded contemporary artists to explore the complex ideas raised by psychoanalysis. In this exhibition works include a newly commissioned sculpture by Jodie Carey, and contributions by Edmund de Waal, Rachel Kneebone and Hannah Collins. These works not only contextualise Freud&rsquos collection but also provide fresh and insightful ways to consider love, lust and longing.


    The 40,000-Year-Old Female Figurine of Hohle Fels: Previous Assumptions and New Perspectives

    As the earliest image of a human being and the oldest piece of figurative art, the female figurine of Hohle Fels remains a significant discovery for understanding the development of symbolic behaviour in Homo sapiens. Discovered in southwestern Germany in 2008, this mammoth-ivory sculpture was found in several fragments and has always been assumed to be complete, never owning a head. In place of a head, there is instead a small loop that would allow her to be threaded, possibly to be worn as a pendant. Several hypotheses have been put forward as to her original use context, ranging from representing a fertility goddess to a pornographic figure. Yet none of these theses have ever suggested that she once had a head. Here we explore whether the female figurine of Hohle Fels was designed as a two-part piece, with the head made of perishable material culture, possibly woven plant or animal fibres or that the artefact is a broken and reworked figurine with the head simply never found. By exploring the possibility that this figurine did originally have a second part—a head—we investigate issues surrounding the role of women and children in the Swabian Aurignacian.


    35 000-Year-Old Mammoth Sculpture Found in Germany

    In southwestern Germany, an American archaeologist and his German colleagues have found the oldest mammoth-ivory carving known to modern science. And even at 35 000 years old, it's still intact.

    Archaeologists at the University of Tübingen have recovered the first entirely intact woolly mammoth figurine from the Swabian Jura, a plateau in the state of Baden-Württemberg, thought to have been made by the first modern humans some 35 000 years ago. It is believed to be the oldest ivory carving ever found. "You can be sure," Tübingen archaeologist Nicholas J. Conard told SPIEGEL ONLINE, "that there has been art in Swabia for over 35 000 years."

    In total, five mammoth-ivory figurines from the Ice Age were newly discovered at the site of the Vogelherd Cave in southwestern Germany, a site known to contain primitive artefacts since it was excavated in 1931 by the Tübingen archaeologist Gustav Reik. Over 7 000 sacks of sediment later, archaeologists were again invigorated by the discoveries.

    Among the new finds are well-preserved remains of a lion figurine, fragments of a mammoth figurine and two as-yet-unidentified representations. These, the University of Tübingen Web site explains, "count among the oldest and most impressive examples of figurative artworks from the Ice Age."

    Conard said that "the excitement and thrill were immense." He and his colleagues Michael Lingnau and Maria Malina in the Department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology reported their findings in the journal Archäologische Ausgrabungen in Baden-Württemberg.

    The figure of the woolly mammoth is tiny, measuring just 3.7 cm long and weighing a mere 7.5 grams, and displays skilfully detailed carvings. It is unique in its slim form, pointed tail, powerful legs and dynamically arched trunk. It is decorated with six short incisions, and the soles of the pachyderm's feet show a crosshatch pattern. The miniature lion is 5.6 cm long, has a extended torso and outstretched neck. It is decorated with approximately 30 finely incised crosses on its spine.

    The geological context of the discoveries and radiocarbon dating indicate that the figurines belong to the Aurignacian culture, which refers to an area of southern France and is associated with the arrival of the first modern humans in Europe. Multiple radiocarbon dates from sediment in the Vogelherd Cave yielded ages between 30 000 and 36 000 years ago, the University of Tübingen reports. Some methods give an even older date.

    The preliminary results from the excavation will be presented in a special exhibit at the Museum of Prehistory in Blaubeuren from June 24, 2007 to January 13, 2008. In 2009, the figurines will be displayed in a major state exhibition in Stuttgart entitled "Cultures and Art of the Ice Age."


    Vogelherd Cave. Areas of recent excavations in the backdirt of Riek’s 1931 fieldwork. Modified after Conard et al. 2013b.


    The figurines were found in 2007 in the spoil from the dig in 1931 by Riek, who completely dug out the site.

    Modern practice is to take out a sample only, and leave much of the site for later investigators.

    Photo: © Universität Tübingen
    Source: http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-22586.html


    This 37mm long, 7.5 gram figurine, made from mammoth ivory, is some 35 000 years old. It is one of the oldest pieces of art ever found.

    (left) as found at the site, (right) cleaned up for public display. On the right and left of the head are small incisions which represent the tusks.

    Photo: © Universität Tübingen
    Source and text: http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-22586.html


    Another view of the mammoth.

    The piece was found in 2007 in the spoil originally excavated from the Vogelherd Cave in 1931. A total of five figurines have been found there.

    Small but clearly visible eyes and ears have been carved into the head.

    Source: Probably © Universität Tübingen


    Left, right, front, back, top and bottom views of the mammoth.

    This mammoth is the first intact example found in the Vogelherd Cave. A number of other fragments have been dug up there.

    Length 37 mm, weight 7.5 grams.

    Photo: © Universität Tübingen
    Source and text: http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-22586.html

    This image shows the front and rear views of the mammoth.

    The figurine has split longitudinally at a zone of weakness in the mammoth ivory.

    Six small incisions on the head are transverse to the longitudinal axis of the animal.

    The mammoth was found in the overburden from the excavation by Gustav Rieks in 1931.

    Aurignacian, length 37 mm, height 27 mm, depth 14 mm, weight 5.3 g

    Photo: Silosarg
    Permission: Creative Commons License Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported


    The underneath of the mammoth. Note the crosshatching on the soles of the feet.


    The mammoth is in very good condition, considering its age.

    Another version of the mammoth sculpture.

    Photo: Original, http://www.landschaftsmuseum.de/Seiten/Lexikon/Kunst_Pal-2.htm

    This photograph shows the small size of the famous Vogelherd horse and the newly completed lion/bear from Vogelherd.

    The horse has the dimensions 48 mm wide, 25 mm high, 7 mm thick.

    Photo: Gerlinde Trinkhausstraße
    Source: http://www.gea.de/bilder/bildergalerien/40000+jahre+alte+figur+komplettiert.3269182.htm


    Re-excavation of the sediments from Vogelherd Cave.

    Photo: Mohsen Zeidi. © University of Tübingen
    Source: http://earth-chronicles.ru/news/2013-07-19-47253


    Bovid, mammoth ivory, circa 35 000 years old.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    Bovid, circa 35 000 years old.

    The striations of the cleavage plane may be a natural feature of ivory.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Mammoth legs in mammoth ivory, circa 35 000 years old.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Mammoth rump in mammoth ivory, circa 35 000 years old.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    This miniature lion is 56 mm long, has an extended torso and an outstretched neck. It is decorated with approximately 30 finely incised crosses on its spine.

    A number of other figurines have likewise been found at the site, says University of Tübingen archaeologist Nicholas J. Conard. They are, says the university Web site, 'among the oldest and most impressive examples of figurative artworks from the Ice Age.'

    Photo: © Universität Tübingen
    Source and text: http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-22586.html


    View of the lion from above.

    The mammoth ivory horse from Vogelherd. It has been superbly finished, with loving care given to the polishing of the sculpture by a master artist.


    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Vogelherd horse sculpture.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Vogelherd horse sculpture, showing marks of tooling on the neck.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Vogelherd horse sculpture, showing clearly the abdomen and front foot.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Vogelherd horse sculpture, showing the crosses extending from the back of the horse down the tail.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Vogelherd horse sculpture.

    This shows the back of the horse. The head and neck is still in three dimensions, but the rest of the horse sculpture has been split off by a fault in the ivory.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Close up of the horse head and shoulders.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Close up of the horse head and shoulders.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    Another view of the flat side of the horse.


    A very good image of the horse

    Flash is no longer supported-->


    Animal, circa 35 000 years old.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Animal, as above, circa 35 000 years old.

    Seen from above. Many of the Vogelherd figurines are split along the central axis.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Photo: Ralph Frenken
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen

    Photo: Cook (2013)
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen


    The sculpture is in fairly good condition, with little damage or missing sections.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    The recurring theme of crosses on the sculpture seems to indicate that the marks have significant meaning. Crosses have been carved into the shoulders, loins, abdomen, the back of the head, and above the tail on the croup.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    No attempt seems to have been made to indicate tusks, yet the massive and powerful proportions of the body would indicate that the mammoth had reached maturity.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    The positioning of the front feet means that the sculpture could have been easily used as a pendant. It is only 5 cm long, so this is an entirely feasible use for the sculpture.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    This closeup allows us to see clearly the hole suitable for attaching the figurine as a pendant by passing a cord through the gap in the front legs.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    This closeup shows the modelling of the face of the mammoth to advantage. Again, there is no indication of tusks.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    There is a further hole for suspending the sculpture at the rear of the figurine.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    The line of the spine at the croup, the rear of the animal, has also been decorated with crosses.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Mammoth sculpture, as above.

    Length 50 mm, height 31 mm, breadth 22 mm.

    A recent high definition image of the mammoth.

    Cave Lion sculpture. Note the missing section at the rear of the animal.

    Length 68 mm, height 24 mm, breadth 14.5 mm.

    This is an important photo, because it shows the rarely seen other side of the sculpture.

    Photo: Ralph Frenken
    Source: exhibited at the Archeological Museum Hamburg (Ice Age - The Art of the Mammoth Hunters from 18 October 2016 to 14 May 2017)
    On loan from the Museum der Universität Tübingen.

    Cave Lion sculpture, as above.


    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    Parts of the surface have eroded away, and the rear left section has split off, but the sculpture remains a powerful piece of art.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    Longitudinal striations appear on the cleaved surface when the ivory splits, as shown at the rear of the figure, running from front to back of the figure.

    In addition, there are cleavage patterns at right angles to these, as can be seen here.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    The nape of the neck is curiously done, with projections separated by carved grooves.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    The mammoth ivory has at least two cleavage planes evident.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    Much of the fine detail of the head has been lost, but the general proportions indicate the artistry involved.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    Detail of the split section of the artwork.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Cave Lion head, superbly detailed. It would be very interesting to determine the significance of the crosses carved into many of the animal figurines from Vogelherd.

    Length 25 mm, height 18 mm, breadth 6 mm. It is part of a formerly complete statuette.



    The King of Animals - strength and aggression, power and superiority characterise the lion. The head, carved from ivory, is only preserved on one side. Once it was part of a larger figure. The glacial sites of the Vogelherdhöhle harboured the most diverse and numerous artefacts of the earliest art of mankind.

    Mammoth ivory, Vogelherdhöhle, Stetten ob Lontal, Niederstotzingen, Kreis Heidenheim.

    Aurignacian, circa 40 000 - 35 000 BP

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart

    Cave Lion by Heinrich Harder

    Photo: Heinrich Harder, Public Domain


    The Cave Lion was about 10% bigger than the African lion. The cave lion is known from Paleolithic cave paintings, ivory carvings, and clay figurines. These representations indicate that cave lions had rounded, protruding ears, tufted tails, possibly faint tiger-like stripes, and that at least some had a "ruff" or primitive mane around their neck, indicating males.

    The cave lion received its common name because large quantities of its remains are found in caves, but it is doubtful whether they lived in them. They probably preferred conifer forests and grasslands, where medium-sized to large herbivores occurred. Fossil footprints of lions, which were found together with those of reindeer, demonstrate that lions once occurred even in subpolar climates. The presence of fully articulated adult cave lion skeletons, deep in cave bear dens, indicates that lions may have occasionally entered dens to prey on hibernating cave bears, with some dying in the attempt.

    These active carnivores probably preyed upon the large herbivorous animals of their time, including horses, deer, reindeer, bison and even injured old or young mammoths. Some paintings of them in caves show several hunting together, which suggests the hunting strategy of contemporary lionesses.

    Its extinction may have been related to the Quaternary extinction event, which wiped out most of the megafauna prey in those regions. Cave paintings and remains found in the refuse piles of ancient camp sites indicate that they were hunted by early humans, which also may have contributed to their demise.

    Text above adapted from Wikipedia


    The fragment on the left makes up half the head of the animal figure on the right, showing that the 'lion' was fully three-dimensional, and not a relief as long thought.

    Photo Credit: Hilde Jensen, Universität Tübingen
    Source: http://phys.org/news/2014-07-fragment-ice-age-ivory-lion.html#nRlv

    Archaeologists from the University of Tübingen have found an ancient fragment of ivory belonging to a 40,000 year old animal figurine. Both pieces were found in the Vogelherd Cave in southwestern Germany, which has yielded a number of remarkable works of art dating to the Ice Age. The mammoth ivory figurine depicting a lion was discovered during excavations in 1931. The new fragment makes up one side of the figurine's head, and the sculpture may be viewed at the Tübingen University Museum from 30 July 2014.

    'The figurine depicts a lion' says Professor Nicholas Conard of Tübingen University's Institute of Prehistory and Medieval Archaeology, and the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment Tübingen. 'It is one of the most famous Ice Age works of art, and until now, we thought it was a relief, unique among these finds dating to the dawn of figurative art. The reconstructed figurine clearly is a three dimensional sculpture.'

    The new fragment was discovered when today's archaeologists revisited the work of their predecessors from the 1930s. 'We have been carrying out renewed excavations and analysis at Vogelherd Cave for nearly ten years' says Conard. 'The site has yielded a wealth of objects that illuminate the development of early symbolic artefacts dating to the period when modern humans arrived in Europe and displaced the indigenous Neanderthals.' He points out that the Vogelherd Cave has provided evidence of the world's earliest art and music and is a key element in the push to make the caves of the Swabian Jura a UNESCO World Heritage site.

    Vogelherd is one of four caves in the region where the world's earliest figurines have been found, dating back to 40 000 years ago. Several dozen figurines and fragments of figurines have been found in the Vogelherd alone, and researchers are piecing together thousands of mammoth ivory fragments.

    Text above: http://phys.org/news/2014-07-fragment-ice-age-ivory-lion.html#nRlv

    Two hippopotamus species are recognised in the pleistocene of Europe, Hippopotamus major (syn Hippopotamus antiquuus) and Hippopotamus amphibius. The two species probably overlapped in time. In south western Europe the hippopotamus was common. In Germany Hippopotamus amphibius is known from the Rhine valley. The distribution of both hippopotamuses was probably restricted to south of 55°N (that is, almost the whole of Germany - Don ) and west of 10°E in Western Europe. Eastern populations apparently inhabited Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova up to 30°E and the Northern Caucasus.

    Source: (looks like a facsimile - Don ), Museum der Universität Tübingen

    Müller-Beck et al. (1987) says that it has been seen by some as a hyena or a young rhinoceros, and Adam et al. (1980) say it could be a rhinoceros - my best bet is hippopotamus. We don't usually think of the hippopotamus when we think of ice age animals, but it was widespread in Europe at one time - Don



    -->
    There is little that is lithe or cat-like about this figurine of a cave lion. Instead, the sculptor has chosen to concentrate on the massive size of the lion, and its powerful muscles.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    This photograph shows the sculptural quality of the piece, with, curiously, the section behind the left shoulder significantly indented compared with the rest of the torso.

    Length 88 mm, height 34 mm, breadth 11 mm.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    The piece has been marked with indentations showing, presumably, the coat of the animal, as well as a decorative pattern of criss - crossing lines, a variation on the more normal individual crosses placed often in a line on pieces from this site.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    The power of the shoulder of the animal has been shown extremely well, despite the fact that the whole sculpture is very thin, with most of the other side missing.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    Until the second piece of the head was found, it was assumed that the sculpture was a bas relief, but this discovery shows that it was once carved in three dimensions.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    The head has been shown extremely well, and there has been little deterioration of the details.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Sculpture originally thought to be a bear, now identified as a cave lion.

    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen

    Müller-Beck et al. (1987) say that it has been identified as a lion, bear, or rhinoceros.

    Length 58 mm, height 24 mm, breadth 14 mm.

    Note that the head of this animal has now been discovered and reunited with the body, allowing its identification as a cave lion, see the complete sculpture in the photos below.


    A Cave Lion figurine carved from mammoth ivory, now with refitted head. Found at Vogelherd Cave in southwestern Germany. Approx. 40 000 years old.

    Researchers from the University of Tübingen have successfully reattached the newly discovered head of a prehistoric mammoth ivory figurine discovered in 1931.

    The head was found during renewed excavations at Vogelherd Cave, site of the original dig in 1931. The recent excavations, between 2005 and 2012, have yielded a number of important finds.

    The discovery of this ivory head helps to complete a figurine which now can be recognised as a lion – and demonstrates that it is possible to reassemble often fragmentary figurines from the earlier excavation. The new discovery is presented in the 2013 edition of the journal Archäologische Ausgrabungen in Baden-Württemberg.

    Photo: H. Jensen. © University of Tübingen
    Source: http://idw-online.de/pages/de/image?id=209130&size=screen


    Vogelherd Cave is located in the Lone Valley (Lonetal) of southwestern Germany and is by far the richest of the four caves in the region that have produced examples of the earliest figurative art, dating as far back as 40 000 years ago. Overall, Vogelherd Cave has yielded more than two dozen figurines and fragments of figurines.

    Photo: H. Jensen. © University of Tübingen
    Source: http://idw-online.de/pages/de/image?id=209131&size=screen


    Another version of this important object.

    Photo: Museopedia
    Permission: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license


    While the work of fitting together thousands of small fragments of mammoth ivory from Vogelherd is just beginning, the remarkable cave lion figurine, now with its head, forms an important part of the display of the earliest art at the Museum of the University of Tübingen (MUT) in Hohentübingen Castle.

    Professor Nicholas Conard and his excavation assistant Mohsen Zeidi today presented the new discovery and discussed its scientific importance, after which the find rejoined the permanent exhibit at MUT.

    Photo: Gerlinde Trinkhausstraße
    Source: http://www.gea.de/region+reutlingen/tuebingen/archaeologen+komplettieren+40000+jahre+alte+figur.3269157.htm

    Cave Lion, circa 35 000 years old.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    The head, neck, and shoulders show an animal at the peak of its powers, a formidable adversary.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    The body and hindquarters also show a highly muscular animal, one which could easily bring down bison or aurochs, or even a smaller mammoth.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    As with many of the figurines from this group, only one half has so far been discovered in the spoil from the original excavations.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Length 63.5 mm, height 24.5 mm, breadth 17 mm.

    The head may have been purposefully removed.


    Abstract, deep engravings on an animal.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Abstract, deep engravings on the animal.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    This gives a good idea of the relative sizes of these figurines.

    Photo: Ralph Frenken
    Source: Museum der Universität Tübingen

    Bas relief of a mammoth, carved from bone.

    Length 69 mm, height 29 mm, breadth 36 mm.

    Mammoth carved in bone, exposing the spongiosa, circa 35 000 years old.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    Part of an animal carved from mammoth ivory, the rest of the figure is yet to be found, circa 35 000 years old.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Part of an animal carved from mammoth ivory.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Part of an animal carved from mammoth ivory.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Part of an animal carved from mammoth ivory.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Length 72 mm, height 52.5 mm, breadth 13.5 mm.



    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    This closeup of the front of the bison figurine shows that the same segmentation decoration has been used on the head of the bison as on the back of the neck of one of the Cave Lion figurines.

    In addition, as with so many of the Vogelherd figurines, the sculpture has been split in half lengthwise down the centre of the animal.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    The segmentation decoration has been used on the rump of the animal, the back, the head and the throat. This style is in contrast to the method of decoration using crosses or a meshwork pattern.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    Closeups of the lower part of the bison figurine.

    Here we can see clearly the natural striations created by the structure of the ivory when part of it has split off. This splitting appears to have happened in antiquity, judging from the patina on the striations feature, and the fact that some carving marks cut into the striations.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Jewellery found at the Vogelherd site.


    Two mammoth ivory rings, from the Vogelherdhöhle, Stetten ob Lontal, Niederstotzingen, Kreis Heidenheim.

    Aurignacian, 40 000 BP - 35 000 BP.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
    Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart


    Flute fragments of bird bone and mammoth ivory from Vogelherd Cave, circa 35 000 years old.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    Fragment of mammoth ivory bearing X marks, a common decoration from this site, circa 35 000 years old.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    Fragment of mammoth ivory bearing transverse cuts, circa 35 000 years old.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    Fragment of mammoth ivory bearing longitudinal and oblique lines, circa 35 000 years old.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    A new find from Vogelherd, depicting a fish.

    Note also the distinctive decoration of small cupules, something which is very often used in the Vogelherd figurines.


    Three views of the fish, circa 35 000 years old.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Lime-sandstone, Vogelherdhöhle, Stetten ob Lontal, Niederstotzingen, Kreis Heidenheim. From the Gravettian, 28 000 - 24 000 BP

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015, 2018
    Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart

    Gustav Riek (left) and an unknown person standing in front of the southwest entrance to Vogelherd at beginning of excavation in 1931.

    Note tags in profile marking archaeological strata.

    View of Vogelherd from the west. Visible are the Southwest entrance and on the right side of photograph, the south entrance.

    This is listed as the Western entrance of Vogelherd Cave on Wikipedia, though it is actually what is known as the Southwest entrance.

    Photo: The Knife, 27th September 2011
    Permission: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons license Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

    (Note the suit, tie and cigar, supervising the workers as they toiled - oh, how excavations used to be run! - Don )

    Gustav Riek in front of the southwest entrance to Vogelherd during excavation in 1931.

    (Note the suit, tie and cigar, supervising the workers as they toiled - oh, how excavations used to be run! - Don )


    Grattoir, scraper on a blade, from Vogelherdhöhle, Stetten ob Lontal, Neiderstotzingen, Kreis Heidenheim, Magdalenian, circa 14 000 BP - 12 000 BP.

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
    Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart

    Projectile point with wide base, bone, Vogelherdhöhle, Stetten ob Lontal, Niederstotzingen, Kreis Heidenheim, Aurignacian, circa 40 000 BP - 35 000 BP

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
    Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart


    Typical tools, weapons and personal ornaments made of bone, antler and mammoth-ivory found at Vogelherd Cave. All artefacts are circa 35 000 years old.

    Stone tools
    1: blade core
    2: Splintered piece
    3: Quartz hammerstone
    4: Nosed scraper
    5: Carinated piece
    6: Laterally retouched blade
    7: Burin
    8: Combination tool: scraper and blade

    Tool made of bone
    9: Smoother (Lissoir, used in preparing hides for use)

    Weapons
    10: Split based spear point (antler)
    11: Split based spear point (antler)
    12: Spear point with unsplit base (antler)
    13: Decorated ivory spear point
    14: Ivory spear point fragment with double bevelled base

    Manufacture of beads and personal ornaments
    15: Small ivory rod
    16: Small ivory rod
    17: Doubly perforated beads


    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    1: blade core
    2: Splintered piece

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    3: Quartz hammerstone
    4: Nosed scraper

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    5: Carinated piece
    6: Laterally retouched blade

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    7: Burin
    8: Combination tool: scraper and blade

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    9: Smoother (Lissoir, used in preparing hides for use)
    10: Split based spear point (antler)
    11: Split based spear point (antler)

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    12: Spear point with unsplit base (antler)
    13: Decorated ivory spear point
    14: Ivory spear point fragment with double bevelled base

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    15: Small ivory rod
    16: Small ivory rod


    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Retoucher of mammoth ivory, Vogelherd, Layer V, Aurignacian.

    Retoucher using a long bone, Layer VII, Vogelherd, Middle Palaeolithic.

    Geröllabschlag, pebble flake tool, Vogelherd, Niederstotzingen, circa 100 000 BP

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    On loan from Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen
    Source and text: Blaubeuren Museum


    17: Doubly perforated beads

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    Thousands of bones of Ice Age animals have been discovered in the caves of the Swabian Jura. Their occurrence does not necessarily indicate that the animals were brought into the caves by people, because animals also used the caves as natural shelters. This point is particularly true for the remains of cave bears, which are common at sites throughout the Swabian Jura. Remains of mammoth are especially abundant during the Aurignacian. Bones of reindeer, horse and cattle are also well documented.

    In the Stone Age no parts of these animals went to waste. They were exploited not only as a source of food, but also for their hides, bones and tendons, which were used for making clothing, shelter and many kinds of tools. At Vogelherd, archaeozoological studies have indicated that, although mammoth was occasionally hunted, the people of the Aurignacian must also have collected the ivory found in the cave from carcasses of animals that had died naturally.

    Text above: Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle


    Animal remains from Vogelherd.

    1: Mammoth, molar
    2: Young mammoth, 2nd molar (mandible)
    3: Horse (10-12 years old), mandible fragment
    4: Aurochs or wisent, humerus joint
    5: Reindeer, antler fragment
    6: Deer, talus
    7: Deer, 1st or 2nd tooth (mandible)
    8: Wooly rhinoceros, tooth (maxilla)
    9: Cave lion, tooth (mandible)
    10: Cave lion, 1st phalanx
    11: Cave hyena, canine (left mandible)
    12: Cave hyena, canine (right mandible)
    13: Wolf, left mandible
    14: Cave bear, canine (right mandible)
    15: Wildcat, right mandible
    16: Red fox or arctic fox, left mandible
    17: Red fox or arctic fox, right mandible

    Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
    Source: Original, Museum der Universität Tübingen, Hohentübingen Castle

    References

    1. Adam, K., Kurz, R., 1980: Eiszeitkunst im süddeutschen Raum, Theiss.
    2. Boger, U., Starkovich, B., Conard N., 2014: New insights gained from the faunal material recovered during the latest excavations at Vogelherd Cave, Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Urgeschichte Volume: 23
    3. Conard, N., Niven L., Mueller K., Stuart A., 2003: The Chronostratigraphy of the Upper Paleolithic Deposits at Vogelherd, Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Urgeschichte, — 12 (2003) 73
    4. Cook, J., 2013: Ice Age art: arrival of the modern mind, The British Museum, 18 Feb 2013, ISBN-10: 0714123331, ISBN-13: 978-0714123332
    5. Delporte H., 1993: L’image de la femme dans l’art préhistorique, Éd. Picard (1993)
    6. Müller-Beck, H. and Albrecht, G. (Ed.), 1987: Die Anfänge der Kunst vor 30000 Jahren Theiss: Stuttgart.
    7. Niven L., 2003: The role of mammoths in Upper Palaeolithic economies of southern Germany, In: J. Zilhão, F. d’Errico (Eds), The Chronology of the Aurignacian and of the Transitional Technocomplexes: Dating, Stratigraphies, Cultural Implications.Trabalhos de Arqueologia 33: 199-211.
    8. Pushkina D., 2007: The Pleistocene easternmost distribution in Eurasia of the species associated with the Eemian Paleooloxodon antiquus assemblage, Mammal Rev. 2007, Volume 37, No. 3, 224-245.
    9. Rau, S., Naumann D., Barth M., Mühleis Y., Bleckmann C., 2009: Eiszeit: Kunst und Kultur, Thorbecke, 2009, 396p. ISBN: 978-3-7995-0833-9
    10. Riek, G., 1934: Die Eiszeitjägerstation am Vogelherd im Lontal, Tübingen: Akademische Buchhandlung Franz F. Heine.

    Contents

    The Swabian Alb region of Germany has a number of caves that have yielded many mammoth-ivory artifacts of the Upper Paleolithic period. Approximately twenty-five items have been discovered to date. These include the Löwenmensch figurine of Hohlenstein-Stadel dated to 40,000 years ago [2] and an ivory flute found at Geißenklösterle, dated to 42,000 years ago. [3] This mountainous region is located in Baden-Württemberg and is bounded by the Danube in the southeast, the upper Neckar in the northwest, and in the southwest it rises to the higher mountains of the Black Forest.

    This concentration of evidence of full behavioral modernity, including figurative art and instrumental music among humans in the period of 40 to 30 thousand years ago, is unique worldwide and its discoverer, archaeologist Nicholas Conard, speculates that the bearers of the Aurignacian culture in the Swabian Alb may be credited with the invention, not just of figurative art and music, but possibly, the earliest religious practices as well. [4] Within a distance of 70 cm to the Venus figurine, Conard's team also found a flute made from a vulture bone. [5] Additional artifacts excavated from the same cave layer included flint-knapping debris, worked bone, and carved ivory as well as remains of tarpans, reindeer, cave bears, woolly mammoths, and Alpine Ibexes.

    External video
    [1], Nature - an extensive discussion of the artifact by two team members who discovered and study the figurine [6]

    The discovery of the Venus of Hohle Fels by the archaeological team led by Nicholas J. Conard of Universität Tübingen Abteilung Ältere Urgeschichte und Quartärökologie pushed back the date of the oldest known human figurative art, [a] by several millennia, [b] establishing that works of art were being produced throughout the Aurignacian Period. [7]

    The remarkably early figurine was discovered in September 2008 in a cave called Hohle Fels (Swabian German for "hollow rock") near Schelklingen, some 15 km (9 mi) west of Ulm, Baden-Württemberg, in southwestern Germany, by a team from the University of Tübingen led by archaeology professor Nicholas Conard, who reported their find in Nature. [8] The figurine was found in the cave hall, approximately 20 m (66 ft) from the entrance and 3 m (10 ft) below the current ground level. Nearby a bone flute dating to approximately 42,000 years ago was found, the oldest known uncontested musical instrument. [3]

    In 2015 the team presented two further pieces of carved mammoth ivory discovered at the site that have been identified as parts of a second female figurine. [9] The venus and the fragment are shown in comparison here.

    The figurine was sculpted from a woolly mammoth tusk and it has broken into fragments, of which six have been recovered, with the left arm and shoulder still missing. In place of the head, the figurine has a perforated protrusion, which may have allowed it to be worn as an amulet.

    The discoverer, anthropologist Nicholas Conard, said: "This [figure] is about sex, reproduction. [it is] an extremely powerful depiction of the essence of being female". [10] Anthropologist, Paul Mellars of Cambridge University has suggested that—by modern standards—the figurine "could be seen as bordering on the pornographic". [11]

    Anthropologists from Victoria University of Wellington have suggested that such figurines were not depictions of beauty, but represented "hope for survival and longevity, within well-nourished and reproductively successful communities", [12] reflecting the conventional interpretation of these types of figurines as representing a fertility goddess.


    Stone Age Facts

    Early in the Stone Age, humans lived in small, nomadic groups. During much of this period, the Earth was in an Ice Age𠅊 period of colder global temperatures and glacial expansion.

    Mastodons, saber-toothed cats, giant ground sloths and other megafauna roamed. Stone Age humans hunted large mammals, including wooly mammoths, giant bison and deer. They used stone tools to cut, pound, and crush—making them better at extracting meat and other nutrients from animals and plants than their earlier ancestors.

    About 14,000 years ago, Earth entered a warming period. Many of the large Ice Age animals went extinct. In the Fertile Crescent, a boomerang-shaped region bounded on the west by the Mediterranean Sea and on the east by the Persian Gulf, wild wheat and barley became plentiful as it got warmer.

    Some humans started to build permanent houses in the region. They gave up the nomadic lifestyle of their Ice Age ancestors to begin farming.

    Human artifacts in the Americas begin showing up from around this time, too. Experts aren’t exactly sure who these first Americans were or where they came from, though there’s some evidence these Stone Age people may have followed a footbridge between Asia and North America, which became submerged as glaciers melted at the end of the last Ice Age.


    Contents

    The Aurignacians are part of the wave of anatomically modern humans thought to have spread from Africa through the Near East into Paleolithic Europe, and became known as European early modern humans, or Cro-Magnons. [4] This wave of anatomically modern humans includes fossils of the Ahmarian, Bohunician, Aurignacian, Gravettian, Solutrean and Magdalenian cultures, extending throughout the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), covering the period of roughly 48,000 to 15,000 years ago. [4]

    The Aurignacian tool industry is characterized by worked bone or antler points with grooves cut in the bottom. Their flint tools include fine blades and bladelets struck from prepared cores rather than using crude flakes. [10] The people of this culture also produced some of the earliest known cave art, such as the animal engravings at Trois Freres and the paintings at Chauvet cave in southern France. They also made pendants, bracelets, and ivory beads, as well as three-dimensional figurines. Perforated rods, thought to be spear throwers or shaft wrenches, also are found at their sites.

    A 2019 demographic analysis estimated a mean population of 1,500 persons (upper limit: 3,300 lower limit: 800) for western and central Europe. [11]

    A 2005 study estimated the population of Upper Palaeolithic Europe from 40–30 thousand years ago was 1,738–28,359 (average 4,424). [12]

    The sophistication and self-awareness demonstrated in the work led archaeologists to consider the makers of Aurignacian artifacts the first modern humans in Europe. Human remains and Late Aurignacian artifacts found in juxtaposition support this inference. Although finds of human skeletal remains in direct association with Proto-Aurignacian technologies are scarce in Europe, the few available are also probably modern human. The best dated association between Aurignacian industries and human remains are those of at least five individuals from the Mladeč caves in the Czech Republic, dated by direct radiocarbon measurements of the skeletal remains to at least 31,000–32,000 years old. [10]

    At least three robust, but typically anatomically-modern individuals from the Peștera cu Oase cave in Romania, were dated directly from the bones to ca. 35,000–36,000 BP. Although not associated directly with archaeological material, these finds are within the chronological and geographical range of the Early Aurignacian in southeastern Europe. [10] On genetic evidence it has been argued that both Aurignacian and the Dabba culture of North Africa came from an earlier big game hunting Levantine Aurignacian culture of the Levant. [13]

    Aurignacian figurines have been found depicting faunal representations of the time period associated with now-extinct mammals, including mammoths, rhinoceros, and tarpan, along with anthropomorphized depictions that may be interpreted as some of the earliest evidence of religion.

    Many 35,000-year-old animal figurines were discovered in the Vogelherd Cave in Germany. [14] One of the horses, amongst six tiny mammoth and horse ivory figures found previously at Vogelherd, was sculpted as skillfully as any piece found throughout the Upper Paleolithic. The production of ivory beads for body ornamentation was also important during the Aurignacian. The famous paintings in Chauvet cave date from this period.

    Typical statuettes consist of women that are called Venus figurines. They emphasize the hips, breasts, and other body parts associated with fertility. Feet and arms are lacking or minimized. One of the most ancient figurines was discovered in 2008 in the Hohle Fels cave in Germany. The figurine has been dated to 35,000 years ago. [15] [16]

    Aurignacian finds include bone flutes. The oldest undisputed musical instrument was the Hohle Fels Flute discovered in the Hohle Fels cave in Germany's Swabian Alb in 2008. [17] The flute is made from a vulture's wing bone perforated with five finger holes, and dates to approximately 35,000 years ago. [17] A flute was also found at the Abri Blanchard in southwestern France. [18]

    The Löwenmensch figurine, found in the Hohlenstein-Stadel cave of Germany's Swabian Alb and dated at 40,000 years old, is associated with the Aurignacian culture and is the oldest known anthropomorphic animal figurine in the world

    A bone flute, one of the oldest known musical instruments (age: 35.000 - 40.000 year old) Landesmuseum Württemberg)


    Watch the video: Αργολίδα. Σπουδαία αρχαιολογική ανακάλυψη στην Επίδαυρο