Selected Sculptures

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Lion Man (Löwenmensch)
Adorant (Geißenklösterle)
Ivory Horse Figurine
Bison licking insect bite
Perforated baton/relief horse
Magdalenian Horse
Robin Hood Cave Horse
Swimming Reindeers

Mammoth spear thrower
Pinhole Cave Man
Ain Sakhri Lovers
Seated Woman (Çatalhöyük)
Priest King, Indus Valley

We have looked at Venus sculptures, there were however many other subjects carved, from a variety of materials, at around the same time.


35,000-40,000 BP
Image source:  
Wikimedia commons

A German cave yielded up this Lion Man figurine or Löwenmensch (lion-human). It is dated to between 35,000 and 40,000 BP.

Carved from a mammoth tusk it was found in pieces and only reconstructed in 2013. There has been much debate about its gender, but male European cave lions did not have manes.

On show at Ulm Museum it is 31 cms tall and 6 cms wide and thick.

33,000 BCE
Image source:  Wikimedia commons

This ‘Adorant‘ figure was found in the Geißenklösterle cave in Germany’s Swabian Jura. It is fabricated in mammoth ivory. It has the posture of a human figure, of indeterminate sex, that has given it its name, as it appears to be engaged in worship.

On show at the Landesmuseum Württemberg in Stuttgart it is 4 cms tall, 4.5 cms wide and 1.5 cms thick.

33,000 BCE
Image source: edition.cnn.com

A discovery in the nearby Vogelherd Cave was this carving in ivory of a horse. These are from the Aurignacian period of the Upper Paleolithic.

18,000 BCE
Image source: Wikimedia commons

From France’s Dordogne this carving of reindeer horn depicts a bison licking an insect bite. It is on show, not far from where it was found, at the National Museum of Prehistory in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil.

18,000 BCE
Image source: Wikimedia commons

Also constructed from reindeer antler this perforated baton has a low relief of a horse. It was found in the La Madeleine cave in the Dordogne.

15,000 BCE
Image source: pinterest.co.uk

This Magdalenian horse carving, came from the reindeer herding period. It is on show at the Musée d’Archéologie Nationale, France.

13,000 BCE
Image source: Wikimedia commons

This ‘Robin Hood Cave Horse‘ is the only piece of Paleolithic Art found in Britain that bears a depiction of an animal. There is some dispute as to whether the piece was brought from France, though the Pinhole Cave Man was also found nearby.

Discovered in Creswell Crags, Derbyshire it is fabricated in a rib bone.

11,000 BCE
Image source: Wikimedia commons

This two-piece carving in mammoth tusk depicts two reindeers swimming. Found as two separate pieces beside the River Aveyron in the centre of France, it was only later realised that they were interlocking pieces.

10,500 BCE
Image source: Wikimedia commons

Spear throwers were developed to give the hunter more heft and distance. This one was discovered in the Monastruc rock shelter in Bruniquet France. It was fabricated from reindeer horn, and carved to depict a mammoth.

10,000 BCE
 Image source: Wikimedia commons

This carving is made from a woolly rhinocerous rib bone was found at the Pinhole Cave, Creswell Crags, Derbyshire. It is named the ‘Pinhole Cave Man’.

9,000 BCE
Image source: sites.google.com

The Ain Sakhri Lovers was found in one of the Ain Sakhri caves near Bethlehem. It is of Natufian origin. It lacks detail, for instance no faces, but the interlinked nature is suggestive.

6,000 BCE
Image source: Wikimedia commons

The Seated Woman of Çatalhöyük has a restored head, hence its different colour. It was found in caves at Çatalhöyük, Turkey. It is said to be a depiction of a Mother Goddess giving birth while gripping two feline handles.

6,000 BCE
Image source: visual-arts-cork.com

This ‘Thinker of Cernavoda‘ terracotta sculpture was found in the lower region of the Danube in Romania. It depicts a seated individual holding his head in his hands. The eyes are over-sized and the legs are quite thick.

2,400-1,900 BCE
Image source: Wikimedia commons
This priest-king steatite (or soapstone) statue is 18 cm tall. It was found in Mohenjo-daro in the Indus Valley. It is in the collection of the National Museum of Pakistan, Karachi.

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