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Impressive & Rare Fossilized Cave Hyena Skull - Choice!

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Impressive & Rare Fossilized Cave Hyena Skull - Choice!
Item Details
Description
Central Asia, Eastern Kazakhstan, Altai Mountains, Pleistocene epoch, ca. 2 million to 10,000 years ago. It is remarkable to see such a fascinating fossilized skull from the extinct cave hyena, also known as the Ice Age spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta spelaea), because so few of their remains survive intact! This is the most complete example for sale that we have seen and totally original material! Most museums have fragmented pieces or reconstructions of these animals. This skull has been shockingly preserved to near perfection - due to the location in which it was found - protected within a cave from the elements. It is displayed to show off the teeth within the incredibly powerful jaws - these animals ate everything from reindeer and horses to woolly rhinos, accumulating their bones and horns in their cave dens. In Siberia, there is evidence they also ate cave bears! The fossilization process has left the bones a rich brown umber color, and the teeth are a pretty black and mottled brown. This is a very rare specimen due to its perfect condition and desirability for collectors and institutions! Size: 13.5" L x 8" W (34.3 cm x 20.3 cm); 10" H (25.4 cm) on included custom stand.

Although their DNA is not significantly different from modern African hyenas, cave hyenas were considerably larger than their modern ancestor. Note the heavy nature of the skull, reinforced for the hyena's rough life of hunting animals larger than itself and contending with neighboring predators - notably wolves. These cave hyenas were subspecies the spotted hyena, which is the only modern living member of the Crocuta family. Cave hyenas, also known as the Ice Age Spotted Hyena, were encountered by prehistoric humans and depicted in cave art, including the Chauvet Cave and Lascaux. Archaeologists also found an atlatl weight carved of mammoth ivory in the form of a crouched hyena, perhaps meant to depict the animal stalking its prey, in the La Madeleine rock shelter, dating ca. 12000-17000 BP. This species once ranged from Iberian Peninsula to Russia. This hyena was a highly specialized animal, weighing approximately 230 pounds (104 kg), hunted in packs, and ate wild horses, steppe bison, and wooly rhinoceros. Like many prehistoric animals, the cause of extinction is not fully understood, but likely due to climate change, and an inability to compete with other predators. Of all the skulls, we think this is one of the most special and well-preserved examples of a pre-historic ice age predator. Because they often scavenged, including their own deceased kin, the bones are often broken and scattered, never truly complete or preserved, which is why we stress how rare this skull is!

This piece has been searched against the Art Loss Register database and has been cleared. The Art Loss Register maintains the world’s largest database of stolen art, collectibles, and antiques.

Provenance: private Rome, Georgia, USA collection

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.

#164973
Condition
Professional restoration to small depression on top left side of skull that is now concealed and nearly invisible. Stable fissures from fossilization process. Teeth are intact. Lower jaw attached to a wire to display on stand. Great coloration and exceedingly rare.
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Impressive & Rare Fossilized Cave Hyena Skull - Choice!

Estimate $32,000 - $48,000
Oct 07, 2021
See Sold Price
Starting Price $16,000
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Artemis Gallery

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0166A: Impressive & Rare Fossilized Cave Hyena Skull - Choice!

Lot Passed
0 Bids
Est. $32,000 - $48,000Starting Price $16,000
Exceptional Antiquities Ethnographic Fine Art
Oct 07, 2021 10:00 AM EDT
Buyer's Premium 26.5%

Lot 0166A Details

Description
...
Central Asia, Eastern Kazakhstan, Altai Mountains, Pleistocene epoch, ca. 2 million to 10,000 years ago. It is remarkable to see such a fascinating fossilized skull from the extinct cave hyena, also known as the Ice Age spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta spelaea), because so few of their remains survive intact! This is the most complete example for sale that we have seen and totally original material! Most museums have fragmented pieces or reconstructions of these animals. This skull has been shockingly preserved to near perfection - due to the location in which it was found - protected within a cave from the elements. It is displayed to show off the teeth within the incredibly powerful jaws - these animals ate everything from reindeer and horses to woolly rhinos, accumulating their bones and horns in their cave dens. In Siberia, there is evidence they also ate cave bears! The fossilization process has left the bones a rich brown umber color, and the teeth are a pretty black and mottled brown. This is a very rare specimen due to its perfect condition and desirability for collectors and institutions! Size: 13.5" L x 8" W (34.3 cm x 20.3 cm); 10" H (25.4 cm) on included custom stand.

Although their DNA is not significantly different from modern African hyenas, cave hyenas were considerably larger than their modern ancestor. Note the heavy nature of the skull, reinforced for the hyena's rough life of hunting animals larger than itself and contending with neighboring predators - notably wolves. These cave hyenas were subspecies the spotted hyena, which is the only modern living member of the Crocuta family. Cave hyenas, also known as the Ice Age Spotted Hyena, were encountered by prehistoric humans and depicted in cave art, including the Chauvet Cave and Lascaux. Archaeologists also found an atlatl weight carved of mammoth ivory in the form of a crouched hyena, perhaps meant to depict the animal stalking its prey, in the La Madeleine rock shelter, dating ca. 12000-17000 BP. This species once ranged from Iberian Peninsula to Russia. This hyena was a highly specialized animal, weighing approximately 230 pounds (104 kg), hunted in packs, and ate wild horses, steppe bison, and wooly rhinoceros. Like many prehistoric animals, the cause of extinction is not fully understood, but likely due to climate change, and an inability to compete with other predators. Of all the skulls, we think this is one of the most special and well-preserved examples of a pre-historic ice age predator. Because they often scavenged, including their own deceased kin, the bones are often broken and scattered, never truly complete or preserved, which is why we stress how rare this skull is!

This piece has been searched against the Art Loss Register database and has been cleared. The Art Loss Register maintains the world’s largest database of stolen art, collectibles, and antiques.

Provenance: private Rome, Georgia, USA collection

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.

#164973
Condition
...
Professional restoration to small depression on top left side of skull that is now concealed and nearly invisible. Stable fissures from fossilization process. Teeth are intact. Lower jaw attached to a wire to display on stand. Great coloration and exceedingly rare.

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