Archæological Discoveries in Moravia

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    EXCAVATIONS at Věstonice in South Moravia were resumed in 1948, and Czechoslovak archaeologists have already made biteworthy progress in revealing what has been described as a "diluvial Pompeii, preserved not by a downpour of volcanic ash but by the slow accumulation of a blanket of loess". About 30,000 years ago, hunters of mammoths dwelt in setfflements along the route of animal migration through the Moravian Gap. These people not only attained skill in the chase, but also possessed considerable artistic talent. There is also evidence that they could count. More objects have recently been added to the collections of worked bones, skulls, utensils and plastic figures that had accumulated from pre-war excavations. The first discovery was that of the remains of four mammoths, each of which is estimated to have weighed eight or ten tons. In what was a human settlement, a plastic model, two inches long, of a woman's head has just been unearthed. It is not so striking as the model, five inches high, known as the Věstonice Venus (Nature, 131, 607 ; 1933), though it is of great interest on account of its age. A well-preserved baked clay model of a bear has also been discovered as well as a curious whistle, which still functions, made from a mammoth's bone. Photographs of these objects, and an account of them by Dr. Edvard Cenek, was given in a recent issue of the Prague illustrated weekly Svět v Obrazech.

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    Archæological Discoveries in Moravia. Nature 163, 758 (1949) doi:10.1038/163758b0

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