Grafische Rekonstruktion des Oberkasseler Paares mit Hund und Jagdbewaffnung, 14.000 Jahre vor heute. Grafik: F. Spangenberg, Konstanz
Schädel des Mannes von Bonn-Oberkassel.
Knochenstab mit Tierkopf-Verzierung aus Bonn-Oberkassel.
Schädel der Frau von Bonn-Oberkassel.
In 1914 stone quarry workers in Bonn-Oberkassel discovered two human skeletons, bones from a dog, and two works of art made of bones and antlers. The combination of a double burial for humans and art and one of the oldest domestic dogs in the world, unique in Central Europe of around 14,000 years ago, makes this ensemble of findings one of the most important sources for the late Ice Age. A subsequent excavation by the LVR-Amt für Bodendenkmalpflege im Rheinland (Rhineland Authority for Archaeological Monuments and Situes) led by Ralf W. Schmitz and Jürgen Thissen in 1994, yielded a more precise localization of the site of the findings and a more recent dating than had been previously assumed. There are plans to subject the Oberkassel grave findings to a completely new scientific examination. Currently, 30 scientists from extremely diverse fields are participating in this multidisciplinary project. Among other things, the goal is to achieve a precise dating of the findings, to examine the human skeletons for injuries, illnesses and deficiency symptoms. Moreover, the findings are undergoing isotopic analyses on issues of diet and to determine the region in which the man and woman grew up, genetic analyses to ascertain the degree they were related to each other as well as a reconstruction of their faces using forensic medicine techniques and genetic examinations to see where this dog stood between wolf and dog. Where do we come from? What are our roots? What connects us today with our own past? What is more, a work-up of the excavation from 1994 is still in the planning process, the goal being to achieve a better reconstruction of the site of the findings. All of these results are to be presented in 2015.
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