Like the Stone Age twig horse I blogged about a few years ago, this ivory horse is rather magnificent:
Found in the Vogelherd cave in south-western Germany, it’s carved from woolly mammoth ivory with flint tools in the Aurignacian period, from 40,000 to 28,000 BCE.
Like other animal figurines found in the same layers, the horse appears astonighingly lively and graceful. I’ve done a little bit of wood carving in my life, and—like all sculpting—it definitely takes not just skill but also pre-planning. I can’t imagine what carving ivory with flint would be like, but I’ve no doubt there are quite a few tricks that go into it.
Whatever the use of the Vogelherd horse was, it’s clear that the maker(s) invested time and significant effort into making their art—a good indication that the creativity, dedication, and determination of the modern human do have deep roots.
Image: horse figurine from the Vogelherd cave via Wikipedia (Baden-Württemberg, Germany; c. 32,000-35,000 BCE; ivory)
The Visual Inspiration occasional feature pulls the unusual from our world to inspire design, story-telling, and worldbuilding. If stuff like this already exists, what else could we imagine?