5b Groß Pampau, GR, c. 500,000 BP, Musk Ox Gallery / f) muskoxcomp
Figuration. Musk ox, tentative identification Ursel Benekendorff. I have set one of Benekendorff's images of this artifact against a photo of a musk ox. The quality of representation is remarkably good. See, for example, I note these detailed points of similarity between the sculpture and the musk ox photo.
Benekendorff suggests that the flaking away of cortex at base of musk ox rump is intended to represent musk ox giving birth.
Dating. Collected from the Ohle gravel pit, Mindle glacial moraine. Associated tools have a predominantly Middle Acheulian and early Later Acheulian quality, as one might expect, suggesting that they are Cromerian, OIS 13 = c. 500,000 BP, or older. One may assume some artifacts from this collection might be reworked during the subsequent Holstein warm times, c. 400,000 BP. One cannot rule out sparse mixing or contamination from Riss III glacial moraine, c. 200,000 BP.
Collection. artifact, Ursel Benekendorff.
Credits. Artifact photo © Ursel Benekendorff; photo of musk ox © Peggy Braun, taken at Musk Ox Farm, University of Alaska, Fairbanks