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Stunning Fossilized Pleistocene Cave Bear Skull

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Stunning Fossilized Pleistocene Cave Bear Skull
Item Details
Description
Ancient Europe, France, Pleistocene epoch, ca. 300,000 to 24,000 years ago. Intimidating but also awe-inspiring: the fossilized skull of a European cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) with a pretty caramel coloration! The surface has developed the lovely hue from the fossilization process, and the dark bone contrasts nicely with the lighter teeth. This bear was probably full grown when it died as evidenced by the worn-down molars. Prehistoric humans did indeed hunt these massive bears and venerated them as deities. A bear skull from France is a rare find, and these bears are usually discovered in Eastern Europe. Size: 15.5" L x 8" W (39.4 cm x 20.3 cm); 18" H (45.7 cm) on included custom stand.

Enormous cave bears were first described in 1774, and scientists at the time thought their huge remains might be those of polar bears. Later scientists realized that they were once part of the group of megafauna that roamed Ice Age Europe - alongside mammoths, woolly rhinos, giant deer, and lions - and males of the species could be fifty percent larger than modern day grizzly bears. Ancient humans were aware of the animals and painted them on the walls of caves. Despite their fierce appearance, cave bears had a mostly vegetarian diet, and ultimately went extinct during the Last Glacial Maximum ca. 27000 to 24000 years ago, when the vegetation they relied upon disappeared. Despite their name, these bears only inhabited caves during their hibernation period through the harsh Ice Age winters. Many skeletons have been discovered in caves where the bears passed away peacefully in their sleep.

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.

#161510
Condition
Some restoration along upper and lower jaw. Surfaces stained with a fixative coating to protect and match hues of other areas. Stable fissure on front upper left canine tooth. Teeth on lower jaw reattached with loss to tip of lower right canine. Loss to left ocular bone, stable fissure in nose cavity. Mineral deposits in nose cavity. Impressive and rare specimen!
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Stunning Fossilized Pleistocene Cave Bear Skull

Estimate $12,000 - $18,000
Feb 18, 2021
See Sold Price
Starting Price $6,000
Shipping, Payment & Auction Policies
Ships from Louisville, CO, United States
Local Pick-Up Louisville, CO, United States
Artemis Gallery

Artemis Gallery

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0090A: Stunning Fossilized Pleistocene Cave Bear Skull

Sold for $8,000
2 Bids
Est. $12,000 - $18,000Starting Price $6,000
Exceptional Antiquities, Asian, Ethnographic
Feb 18, 2021 10:00 AM EST
Buyer's Premium 24.5%

Lot 0090A Details

Description
...
Ancient Europe, France, Pleistocene epoch, ca. 300,000 to 24,000 years ago. Intimidating but also awe-inspiring: the fossilized skull of a European cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) with a pretty caramel coloration! The surface has developed the lovely hue from the fossilization process, and the dark bone contrasts nicely with the lighter teeth. This bear was probably full grown when it died as evidenced by the worn-down molars. Prehistoric humans did indeed hunt these massive bears and venerated them as deities. A bear skull from France is a rare find, and these bears are usually discovered in Eastern Europe. Size: 15.5" L x 8" W (39.4 cm x 20.3 cm); 18" H (45.7 cm) on included custom stand.

Enormous cave bears were first described in 1774, and scientists at the time thought their huge remains might be those of polar bears. Later scientists realized that they were once part of the group of megafauna that roamed Ice Age Europe - alongside mammoths, woolly rhinos, giant deer, and lions - and males of the species could be fifty percent larger than modern day grizzly bears. Ancient humans were aware of the animals and painted them on the walls of caves. Despite their fierce appearance, cave bears had a mostly vegetarian diet, and ultimately went extinct during the Last Glacial Maximum ca. 27000 to 24000 years ago, when the vegetation they relied upon disappeared. Despite their name, these bears only inhabited caves during their hibernation period through the harsh Ice Age winters. Many skeletons have been discovered in caves where the bears passed away peacefully in their sleep.

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.

#161510
Condition
...
Some restoration along upper and lower jaw. Surfaces stained with a fixative coating to protect and match hues of other areas. Stable fissure on front upper left canine tooth. Teeth on lower jaw reattached with loss to tip of lower right canine. Loss to left ocular bone, stable fissure in nose cavity. Mineral deposits in nose cavity. Impressive and rare specimen!

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