THE ART OF THE ICE AGE - EXPLORING THE DEEPER HISTORY OF ART
ICE AGE SCULPTURE: MAL'TA FLYING SWANS
Flying Swan Pendants
Siberian Middle Upper Palaeolithic/Gravettian, 22,000-20,000 years old
Using mammoth ivory, these pendants are carved as flying swans with their necks and wings outstretched. Thirteen such pendants varying in size from 4.5 to 15 centimetres long were found on the campsite. One of the pendants was found with the skeleton of a child but if they were worn together as a necklace, with the largest at the centre, they would also display the flight formation of the birds. The arrival and departure of migratory birds were important seasonal markers for hunter-gatherers and may have been celebrated with special ceremonies.