Lionman Photo: Thomas Stephan
© Ulmer Museum

2D Cuts of 3D CT Data of Lion Man

  The Lion Man

Reproduction of a Prehistoric Artwork
The "Lion Man", which is said to be the oldest representation of a man-animal creature, was examined with RayScan.

It was carved from a mammoth tusk more than 35,000 years ago.
The carving was found in the Hohlenstein-Stadel cave in the Lone Valley in 1939. When it was found, it was broken into several hundred pieces.

It was reconstructed meticulously and is now kept in the museum of Ulm (Germany). The statuette measures 29.6 cm.

The quality of the reconstruction work was examined using 3D tomography. It could be shown that the nerve channel of the original tusk runs straight through the object without any deviation. Thus, it was proven that the reconstruction had been carried out perfectly.

With the aim to produce a copy of the statuette, the Lion Man was measured by computed tomography without physical contact. The resulting 3D CT data were then converted into model data and a first copy was made. Replicas of the Lion Man are shown in many museums around the world.

Conventional moulding methods might have damaged the surface of the Lion Man.

"Lion Man" Statuette from Mammoth Tusk
296 x 63 mm (height x width)
Late Palaeolithic (Aurignacien), appr. 35,000 B.C.
Find Spot: Hohlenstein-Stadel Cave
Subdistrict Asselfingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Inv. Ulmer Museum Prä Slg. Wetzel Ho-St. 39/88.1