The archaeological collection at Museum Ulm covers a time-span from the Neanderthal-era to Ulm in the Late Middle Ages. An absolute highlight of the museum collection is the ‘Löwenmensch’ (lion man), which is truly one-of-a-kind and one of the oldest figurative carvings ever discovered. The fabulous – half lion, half man – sculpture was made from mammoth ivory approximately 40,000 years ago. It was discovered at Hohlenstein-Stadel cave in the Lone valley, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017.
One of the most spectacular discoveries of Ice Age archaeology, the largest sculpture of Ice Age art, the oldest depiction of a mythical creature, that is the Lion Man from the Stadel Cave in the Lone Valley near Ulm, which with a total of six caves in the Swabian Alb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017 as one of the most important sites of human artistic creation.
The Lion Man statuette was masterfully carved from the tusk of a mammoth 40,000 years ago. It combines attributes of the cave lion, the most dangerous predator of the last ice age, with human characteristics. The fantastic portrayal of the lion man points to the spiritual world of the people of the last Ice Age, a unique relic from the beginnings of art and culture, the origins of human thought and creativity.
The Lion Man sculpture is the largest and most mysterious object in the unique ensemble of mammoth ivory figures discovered in the caves of the Swabian Alb. They bear witness to the outstanding importance of the region at the beginning of the Younger Paleolithic Age some 40,000 years ago and were instrumental in the designation of the caves as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017. The carved mammoth ivory artefacts found there, together with the Lion Man presented in the Ulm Museum, represent the most impressive early ensemble of works of art discovered to date.