De mammoet en de prehistorische mens van Siegsdorf
Cranium , Volume 5 - Issue 1 p. 57- 64
The authors give an account of their visit to Siegsdorf (GFR) in November 1987. In 1975 Mr Bernard Bredow from Traunstein (GFR) discovered an exceptionally complete skeleton of a woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) at Siegsdorf and subsequently unearthed it in two steps (1975 and 1985). A mammoth project – subsidized by the municipality of Siegsdorf and directed by Mr Bredow – aimed at an adequate reconstruction of the skeleton, at the same time avoiding any method that could be in conflict with the integrity of the original bones. In order to retain the skeleton within the boundaries of Siegsdorf plans were made to build a natural history museum. Furthermore, it was decided that the bones should remain accessible to science. For these reasons casts were made of all skeletal elements found. Damaged pieces were temporarily completed with bees ’wax to improve on the casts, that serve exhibition purposes. Some missing parts were sculptured, such as the hands and feet, others were derived from finds at other localities. The mammoth bones found at Siegsdorf are listed in Table 1. They are in an unprecedented state of preservation. The reconstruction of the mammoth – nicknamed ’Oscar’ by Mr Bredow – reaches a height of 388 cm at the shoulder. The authors believe this to be slightly too high, since the missing metacarpals and metatarsals were sculptured in a rather elongated form. Despite this fact, the skeleton is the biggest woolly mammoth yet found in Europe. It was accompanied by the following species: Coelodonta antiquitatis, Bison priscus, Megaloceros giganteus, Canis lupus, Crocuta crocuta spelaea and Panthera leo spelaea. Among these accompanying remains the authors discovered a fragment of a human humerus (figs. 5 and 6). It is also evident that many bones of Bison priscus show traces of human activity, which indicates the cutting up of a specimen at the site. The diaphysis of the human humerus also shows traces caused by gnawing. These must be attributed to Homo sp., possibly Neandertal man. There are no traces on the humerus that could be related to gnawing by carnivorous mammals. The age of the site as determined by the Gesellschaft für Strahlenforschung at Munich is 48.000 BP.
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