Lion-Man to be reconstructed from new pieces

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Lion-Man at AMNH

Copy of the "Lion-Man of Hohlenstein-Stadel", at the American Museum of Natural History

The Lion-Man of Hohlenstein-Stadel is one of the most famous pieces of Paleolithic art ever found. Der Spiegel has a story about the specimen, which is being reassessed after the discovery of new fragments that may alter its shape and archaeologists’ interpretations.

The new discoveries came after archeologists once again turned their attention to the Stadel cave. They sifted through all of the rubble from 1939, explains excavator Claus-Joachim Kind -- and the results were sensational. "We found about 1,000 pieces, which presumably belong to the statue," Kind says.
The figurine will be taken to the State Conservation Office in Esslingen, near Stuttgart, where it will be completely taken apart. The old glue joints will be dissolved and the filler made of beeswax and chalk, which was used as a placeholder, will be removed.
Then the statue will be reassembled piece by piece, a task that those involved await with great anticipation.

The article picks the “Lion-Man or Lion-Woman” angle, but I think a more broadly interesting question is why this time and place had a proliferation of ivory artifacts. The Lion-Man is not the only anthropothere, and the appearance of such images so early in the record of artistic representation would seem to show that such combinations are fundamental to the human imagination.