Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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New Dates for the Lion Man

Friday, February 01, 2013

(JDuckeck)ULM, GERMANY—New radiocarbon dates for bones found in the same strata as the "lion man" indicate that the Ice Age figurative sculpture is 40,000 years old, or 8,000 years older than previously thought. Carved from mammoth ivory, the first fragments of the lion man were discovered in 1939 in Germany’s Stadel Cave, just a few days before the outbreak of World War II. Archaeologists hastily filled in their trenches to protect the site and stored the sculpture in the City Museum of Ulm, where it was first reassembled in the 1970s. Recent excavations by Claus-Joachim Kind have recovered another 1,000 bits of mammoth bone that are now being added to the sculpture using computer-imaging techniques. The Ulm Museum plans to unveil the refurbished lion man in November.  See ARCHAEOLOGY’s “New Life for the Lion Man” for an in-depth look at the process of reconstructing the Ice Age masterpiece.