English, Fake News

‘Lion Man’ ivory sculpture in Germany falsely shared as the sculpture of Lord Narasimha


A collage with a group of images is being shared on social media claiming it as the visuals of 35,000 to 40,000 years old Lord Narasimha sculpture found in Germany. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.

The archived version of the post can be seen here.

Claim: Images of 40,000-year-old Lord Narasimha sculpture found in Germany.

Fact: The first two images show the 40,000 years old ‘Lion Man’ sculpture exhibited in the ‘Museum Ulm’ in Germany. The fragments of this ivory sculpture were discovered in 1939 during the excavations at Hohlenstein-Stadel cave in South Germany. Later after thirty years, these fragments were reconstructed as Lion Man and exhibited in ‘Museum Ulm’. The other image of Lord Narasimha sculpture is from Badami caves in Karnataka. This sculpture was made between 6th and 8th century. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.

The post majorly shares two different images. Let’s verify each photo one by one.


On reverse image search of the photos shared in the post, a similar photo was found in an article published by the ‘World Archeology’ website. This article reported it as the picture of the ‘Lion Man’ sculpture exhibited in the ‘Museum Ulm’ in Germany. This sculpture was mentioned as an enigmatic ivory figurine discovered as hundreds of fragments inside the Hohlenstein-Stadel cave in 1939.  According to an article published by ‘Don’s Maps’, these hundreds of fragments of carving were found by geologist Otto Volzing. But, the start of World War II had led him to stop these excavations of ivory sculptures. Later after 30 years, these fragments of ivory have been reconstructed to create a ‘Lion Man’.

‘The British Museum Blog’ has published an article explaining the history of ‘Lion Man’ sculpture exhibited in the ‘Museum Ulm’. This ‘Lion Man’ sculpture was exhibited in the “Living with Gods at the British Museum” exhibition, held in 2017. The ‘Museum Ulm’ has shared multiple images of this ‘Lion Man’ sculpture on their social media handles. They can be seen here, here, and here. From all these pieces of evidence, it can be concluded that the images shared in the post show the ‘Lion Man’ sculpture in Germany, not the Lord Narasimha sculpture.


On reverse image search of the photo shared in the post, a similar photo was found on the ‘Alamy’ website. The description of the photo states, ‘Narasimha in Cave 3 of the Badami Cave temples in Badami in Karnataka, India’. This Narasimha sculpture was constructed inside Badami cave temples in Karnataka. A ‘Flickr’ user has also shared the same image with a similar description. ‘Amazing Places on our Planet’ YouTube channel has published a video on Badami temple caves in Karnataka. We could see a similar visual of Lord Narasimha in this video. The sculptures inside the Badami temple caves were made in 6th and 7th centuries.

To sum it up, 40-thousand-year-old ‘Lion Man’ sculpture in Germany is falsely shared as a sculpture of Lord Narasimha.

Update (07 October 2022):

Another post with a similar claim is being shared widely on social media.

The black sculpture photo on the left is not from Germany. It is the ‘Lord Nrsimhadev’ statue at Sri Dham Mayapur in West Bengal (India). More visuals of the same statue can be seen here and here.

The sculpture photos on the right are already debunked above. The photos show the ‘Lion man’ sculpture. While it is true that it is 40,000 years old, none of the reputed and credible agencies have mentioned it to be the statue of Lord Narasimha. There is no credible back story or myth to the ‘Lion man’ character. The statue is considered to be half human and half lion, so it is called ‘Lion man’. There are only theories of it being a deity worshipped by early people.


About Author

Comments are closed.