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Thundercats, HO!


This is de Löwenmensch, the Lion Man. He’s about a foot tall, carved out of a single mammoth tusk (which explains his pose, to some extent). The head is a cave lion, a creature from before the last Ice Age. Actually, Löwenmensch translates more to “lion person” — there’s some dispute whether the figure is male or female.

He was found in a cave in Germany in 1939 and, owing to some little distractions in the country at the time, forgotten for thirty years. More bits (including the head) were found in the same cave in the Nineties and a thorough restoration was undertaken in 2012/13.

Dude is forty thousand years old, the oldest undisputed representational sculpture found to date. If he looks stylistically familiar, he was made (probably) by the same people who did some of the better cave paintings found in France. The known territory of his makers — the Aurignacian culture — extends right through Europe into Asia.

More pics. He’s in a museum in Ulm and his official page is here (Google translate does a surprisingly good job with these pages).

Yeah, that’s right. I’m doing neolithic pinups now.


Comment from iamfelix
Time: March 31, 2016, 10:45 pm

Chicken pr0n, Neolithic pinups … we love it all. 😉

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: March 31, 2016, 11:12 pm

Those Aurignacians got around!
Did you see the Lion Man gold ring? I want one.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: April 1, 2016, 12:33 am

Heavens to Murgatroyd, even!
Exit, stage left…

Comment from mojo
Time: April 1, 2016, 5:30 am

“Goodbye, ape-creatures, we are leaving now. But remember – the trick is to keep banging those rocks together.”

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: April 1, 2016, 12:54 pm

There was a BBC doc on prehistoric bears who are YUGE. They would enter this cave to hibernate. The cave was very long and the bears would go way way in. It was dark so they didnt see the pit at the end, fell in, and werent able to get out. I felt really sorry for them. Horrible way to die. Then again, so is being ripped apart and eaten by a bear – prehistoric or present day. The worse is that they will eat half of you and save the rest of you to nosh on later. [shudder]

This is my feel good video of the day:


Comment from Surellin
Time: April 1, 2016, 1:47 pm

Paleolithic, not neolithic. Now go ahead and mock me with great mockings. 🙂

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: April 1, 2016, 2:02 pm

Cave lions? I once told Miss Linda that my large Maine Coon mix cat probably had racial memories of being a cave lion. She thought I was making up the cave lion part. No, Panthera leo spelaea was real. About 10-25% bigger in all dimensions than today’s lions.

A while back National Geographic had a story on the lions remaining in the Tsavo area in Africa, which are bigger than lions elsewhere. The story speculated that the Tsavo lions (including, possibly, the maneaters who picked off those railway workers in the 1880s) are descendants of the original cave lions. Even though the cave lions seemed to hang out mostly in colder, northern climes.

Forty thousand years? A mere trifle. Only about 6-7 times longer than all recorded history, that’s all.

Comment from mojo
Time: April 1, 2016, 2:50 pm

From before we became top predators, I suspect. Lions are impressive critters, especially when they’re hunting YOU.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 1, 2016, 2:59 pm

I thought I was safe because it had a “lithic” in it, Surellin. What’s the cut off date between paleo and neo?

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: April 1, 2016, 6:33 pm

Comment from mojo
Time: April 1, 2016, 5:30 am

“Goodbye, ape-creatures, we are leaving now. But remember – the trick is to keep banging those rocks together.”
Lion-Man looks like a member of Larry Niven’s kzinti, the ferocious catlike warrior race in his Known Space stories. Except they referred to humans as “monkeys.”

Comment from mojo
Time: April 1, 2016, 11:31 pm

As I recall, the Kzinti term for non-Kzinti sophonts meant “food-that-talks”, too. Not good neighbors.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: April 2, 2016, 11:58 pm

S. Weasel: “I thought I was safe because it had a “lithic” in it, Surellin. What’s the cut off date between paleo and neo?”

There is no such date, because another era comes between.

Paleolithic: before 18000 BCE

Mesolithic: 18000 BCE-8000 BCE

Neolithic: 8000 BCE-3500 BCE

Bronze Age: 3500 BCE-1200/700 BCE

Iron Age: after 1200/700 BCE

One wonders how many hours of labor the carving took.

Comment from JuliaM
Time: April 5, 2016, 7:43 am

As someone who spent a bit of time in ‘Far Cry: Primal’ lately, I recommend this post… 🙂

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 5, 2016, 1:45 pm

Oooo…is that a recommendation for Primal, JuliaM? I haven’t bitten yet. I love the Far Cry series (especially 3) but for me, it’s all about GUNS, GUNS, GUNS.

Also, it looked to me like the more sophisticated tribe was negroid, and that pissed me off. I’m kind of negro’d out at the moment.

Comment from WilliamDitS
Time: May 1, 2016, 10:32 am

Appreciate it, A lot of forum posts.

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Comment from kathrein
Time: May 20, 2017, 12:32 pm

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