Ice Age Souvenir Hunters
from the book, "Our Fascinating Earth"

Book: 
Our Fascinating Earth

Ice Age Souvenir Hunters

There is no doubt that Paleolithic man often migrated great distances as he followed the game herds. Evidence of his migrations is supported by numerous "souvenirs" he picked up along the way. Some of these objects may have been retained as records of his long and numerous journeys. They may even represent a record of contact of an unusual kind, just as vacationers currently collect objects as reminders that they have seen the mountains, the shore, or Rock City. Such mementos were frequently worn as decorative jewelry or amulets.

In the Lascaux Cave in France a rare variety of fossil mollusk shell was recovered from the floor by researchers. This particular fossil species is known today only from layered rocks on the Isle of Man. It had a slot in it and was probably carried on a sling and worn around the owner's neck. Was this a memento of his trip to a far—off land some 25,000 years ago?

Even more striking was that of a fossil trilobite found in another cave now known as the Cave of the Trilobite. It was also pierced and probably worn as an amulet. The ancient caveman who procured this souvenir really traveled, because the nearest source for this species of trilobite is in central Germany, nearly 1,300 miles to the east!