On Sunday afternoon, Bahn, who is also an author, translator and BBC commentator, spoke at the Emerson Center during a presentation hosted by the Old Vero Ice Age Sites Committee. While most of Bahn's presentation focused on Ice Age cave art in Europe, he outlined several findings that might offer lessons for future excavations or studies of the Vero Man site.
The committee is raising money to fund a re-excavation of the site, and an international team recently completed a site survey with ground-penetrating radar. Committee chairwoman Susan Grandpierre told the crowd of about 200 attendees that the survey's preliminary findings reveal undisturbed ground that might contain artifacts like the one found by James Kennedy, but the final survey results are not available.
Kennedy's find was a carving of a mammoth on what is thought to be a mammoth or sloth bone, and was authenticated by scientists at the University of Florida. It is thought to be 13,000 to 20,000 years old. Excavating the Vero Man site, which was discovered in 1913 and is one of only two locations in the United States where fossilized human remains have been discovered alongside a variety of Ice Age, or Pleistocene, mammal remains, is expected to cost about $1.3 million, according to Grandpierre.
Bahn traveled to Vero Beach to examine the carving, which is similar to other Pleistocene artifacts found in France, Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Bahn urged researchers to examine and catalog every item recovered from the Vero Man site, saying that often, items from similar sites were overlooked and placed in storage because people didn't know to look for things they didn't think existed.
Bahn told the audience that those stored items would need to be cleaned and re-examined, but he believed there must be other Ice Age art from the site given the nature of the existing artifact. "It's important to go back to the old material from the site and check it out because if you have one from here, there will be more, and that is a lesson for Vero Beach," Bahn said.
Bahn said it wasn't until the end of the 19th century when archeologists accepted that art from the Ice Age existed, and that people had co-existed with and had seen Ice Age animals, and that they had not only seen them but had drawn them.
The committee plans a campaign of fundraising efforts for excavation and promotion of public awareness of the importance of the Vero Man site and the fossilized carving.
Source: TC Palm