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Mammoth Hunters from Predmosti

Předmostí (Skalka), situated in the north western part of Přerov, Moravia near the city of Přerov, is an important Late Pleistocene hill site of Central Europe.


By J. Matiegka (1862-1941) - "The use of recently re-discovered glass plate photodocumentation of those human fossil finds from Předmostí u Přerova destroyed during World War II". (Veleminska et al., 2004), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61954531

The site was discovered in the late 19th century. Excavations were conducted between 1884 and 1930. It was here that Jindřich Wankel, and shortly afterwards K.J. Maška  conducted their excavations. It was the discovery of human bones on an unprecedented scale, together with the first find of a human lower jaw made by Wankel in 1884 and the later finds of M. Kříž (1886) and K. Absolon (1929).


Autor: Zde – Vlastní dílo, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69695634

The skeletal remains of the few dozen people from Předmostí are among the most important finds ever made of anatomically modern humans, and are accompanied by items from the Gravettian culture. A major restriction on the opportunities available for extracting information from this Upper Paleolitic population assembly, however, came with the irreparable damage done to the skeletal material during fire at Mikulov Castle near the end of the World War II, which almost completely destroyed the entire collection. For many years, the only sources of scientific information relating to the assemblage available were the two-volume work by Jindřich Matiegka (1934 and 1938) and casts made of the skulls of individuals Předmostí 3 and Předmostí 4, and the endocrania of individuals Předmostí 3, 4, 9 and 101, in the collection of Moravian Museum in Brno. A fragment of Predmostí 21's mandible was rediscovered in the Museum of Olomouc.


the archaeological sitte

Autor: Martin Kriz – M. Kriz: O dokoncení vyzkumnych praci v Predmosti. Casopis vlasteneckeho spolku musejniho v Olomouci, 1896), Volné dílo, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3392623

The Předmostí site appears to have been a living area with associated burial ground with some 20 burials, including 15 complete human interments, and portions of five others, representing either disturbed or secondary burials. Cannibalism has been suggested  though it is not widely accepted. The non-human fossils are mostly mammoth remains. Many of the bones are heavily charred. Other remains include fox, reindeer, ice-age horse, wolf, bear, wolverine, and hare. Remains of three dogs were also found, one of which had a mammoth bone in its mouth.


The Pendant by mammoth material  with ornamental decoration

Autor: M.Kriz (1841-1916) – M. Kriz: Me vyzkumne prace v Predmosti (Zvlastni otisk Časpúosi vlasteneckeho spolku muzejniho v Olomouci, 1896, tab.I), Volné dílo, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3101546

The Předmostí site is dated to between 24,000 and 37,000 years old. The people had robust features indicative of a big-game hunter lifestyle. They also share square eye socket openings found in the French material. Skulls of Předmostí individuals are significantly longer and more robust than of modern Europeans. They also display a degree of variability.


the Statuette of a Mammoth from Predmosti