40000 years old Narasimha lion-man Idol found in Germany

Löwenmensch, a lion-headed figurine found in Germany, dating to the Upper Paleolithic of about 40,000 BCE.

Oldest ever Idol discovered so far is the Lion-Man ivory scultpure, which is estimated to be 40000 years old.

It was discovered in the Hohlenstein-Stadel, a German cave in 1939.
This 29.6 cm (11.7 inches) in height, 5.6 cm wide, and 5.9 cm thick sculpture.

It was carved out of woolly mammoth ivory using a flint stone knife. Seven parallel, transverse, carved gouges are on the left arm. It is now in the museum in Ulm, Germany. By 2015, the ancient figurine was more appropriately being called a lion-headed figurine and identified as Löwenmensch.

Most of its pieces were found in 1939 in a cave named Stadel-Höhle in Hohlenstein  Mountain in the Lone valley in the Swabian Alb, Germany. Due to the beginning of the Second World War, it was forgotten and only rediscovered thirty years later. The first reconstruction revealed a humanoid figurine without a head. Between 1997 and 1998, additional pieces of the sculpture were discovered and the head was reassembled and restored.


Ice Age Lion Man is world’s earliest figurative sculpture

There is a debate about its name, gender etc as not enough historic evidence of such being exist in Germany or Europe, the figurine was classified as male. From examination of some additional parts of the sculpture found later, it is determined that the figurine was that of a woman with the head of a “Höhlenlöwin”. Both interpretations currently lack scientific evidence. Male European cave lions often lacked distinctive manes and so the absence of a mane cannot determine categorically that it is a lioness, and a debate about its gender ensued among some people involved in the research and the popular press.

After this artifact was identified, a similar, but smaller, lion-headed human sculpture was found, along with other animal figurines and several flutes, in another cave in the same region of Germany. This leads to the possibility that the Löwenmensch figurine played an important role in the mythology of humans of the early Upper Paleolithic.

The nearly one-foot tall sculpture may be seen in the Ulmer Museum in Ulm, Germany, following these discoveries, female figurines from approximately the same prehistoric period,  have been discovered in the same mountainous area of Germany.

There are many such examples of ancient traces across the world.

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Picture to the right is Sphinx in Egypt which is actual another form of Narasimha (Human face and Lion Body).

The sculpture  is idol of Lord Narasimha (Lion faced Human), which is regarded as 4th avatar of Lord Vishnu. Carving idols from Elephant Tusk was common in India and Asian Elephant is the closest extant relative of Woolly Mammoth. The name currently used in German is, Löwenmensch—meaning “lion-human”.

Narasimha  (Narasiṁha, lit. man-lion),  is an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu and one of Hinduism’s most popular deities, as evidenced in early epics, iconography, and temple and festival worship for over a millennium.

Lion Man of Hohlenstein- reconstruction drawing

Lion Man of Hohlenstein- reconstruction drawing

Narasiṁha is often visualised as having a human-like torso and lower body, with a lion-like face and claws. This image is widely worshiped in deity form by a significant number of Vaiṣṇava groups. Vishnu assumed this form on top of Himvat mountain (Harivamsa). He is known primarily as the ‘Great Protector’ who specifically defends and protects his devotees in times of need. Seven parallel, transverse, carved gouges are on the left arm. They represent 7 music octaves (sapta swaras), 7 color bands, 7 chakras ,7 aural layers and 7 continents.

After planing the earth, he adorned it with mountains and then divided it into seven continents- Vishnu Purana