Groß Pampau, GR, c. 500,000 BP, Geometrics
There are apparently four major thematic elements in Early Paleolithic symbols systems, geometrics, including the biface or 'handaxe', female figurines, human head or skull, and animals. In the category of geometrics, in addition to the symmetrical bifaces, often of aesthetic beauty, spheroids, triangles, rhomboids, tetrahedrons, and pentagonal and hexagonal shapes occur. (The symbol system itself as a fourfoldness or quaternion of themes might be called tetrahedral.) Benekendorff found at least one tetrahedron at the Groß Pampau site. Jan Evert Musch compares it to a tetrahedral female figurine from a Middle Paleolithic site at Fontmaure, France. More recently, Benekendorff identified at least two objects from Pampau that appear to be engraved with a net-like pattern.
For details about site and dating see Groß Pampau Gallery 1.
Photo © Ursel Benekendorff; collection Ursel Benekendorff unless otherwise noted. The site is documented in Benekendorff, U. (1990). From the information recorder stone to a picture book of the stone age. Archaeologische Berichten 20:14-28 and 43-65 (Elst, NL).