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German 'Venus' oldest piece of figurative art

 
 
Reply Wed 13 May, 2009 01:38 pm
Quote:
LONDON (Reuters) - A sexually suggestive Venus figurine with oversized breasts and thighs dates back at least 35,000 years and shows ancient humans had sex on their minds, researchers said on Wednesday.

The 60-millimetre-long figurine may be the oldest piece of its kind yet discovered and suggests Palaeolithic art was far more complex than many had thought, Nicholas Conard of Tubingen University in Germany wrote in the journal Nature.

Radiocarbon dating indicates the figure excavated from an archaeological dig in southern Germany, near the Danube valley, was at least 35,000 years old, the researchers said.

"The discovery predates the well-known Venuses from the Gravettian culture by at least 5,000 years and radically changes our views of the context and meaning of the earliest Palaeolithic art," Conard wrote.

"Before this discovery ... female imagery was entirely unknown."

The figurine's enlarged breasts, bloated belly and thighs also make clear that sexual symbolism was alive and well tens of thousand of years ago, Paul Mellars of the University of Cambridge, wrote in a commentary.

"The feature of the newly discovered figure that will undoubtedly command most attention is its explicitly, almost aggressively, sexual nature, focussed on the sexual characteristics of the female form," he wrote.

"Whichever way one views these representations, it is clear that the sexually symbolic dimension in European (and indeed worldwide) art has a long ancestry in the evolution of our species."

(Reporting by Michael Kahn; Editing by Julie Steenhuysen)

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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Wed 13 May, 2009 01:38 pm

http://i40.tinypic.com/10s9d75.jpg http://i43.tinypic.com/atsp39.jpg

http://i42.tinypic.com/2s8o1fa.jpg
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 May, 2009 02:01 pm
http://i39.tinypic.com/seow49.jpgSource and more info from the New York Times


This is where it was found: 'Hohler Fels' ("Holow Rock")l
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 May, 2009 02:08 pm

Report (abstract) at Nature:
Quote:
Nature 459, 248-252 (14 May 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature07995; Received 24 January 2009; Accepted 17 March 2009

A female figurine from the basal Aurignacian of Hohle Fels Cave in southwestern Germany

Nicholas J. Conard1

Abteilung für Ältere Urgeschichte und Quartärökologie, Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte und Archäologie des Mittelalters, Universität Tübingen, Schloss Hohentübingen, 72070 Tübingen, Germany
Correspondence to: Nicholas J. Conard1 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to N.J.C. (Email: [email protected]).

Abstract
Despite well over 100 years of research and debate, the origins of art remain contentious1, 2, 3. In recent years, abstract depictions have been documented at southern African sites dating to 75 kyr before present (bp)4, 5, and the earliest figurative art, which is often seen as an important proxy for advanced symbolic communication, has been documented in Europe as dating to between 30 and 40 kyr bp2. Here I report the discovery of a female mammoth-ivory figurine in the basal Aurignacian deposit at Hohle Fels Cave in the Swabian Jura of southwestern Germany during excavations in 2008. This figurine was produced at least 35,000 calendar years ago, making it one of the oldest known examples of figurative art. This discovery predates the well-known Venuses from the Gravettian culture by at least 5,000 years and radically changes our views of the context and meaning of the earliest Palaeolithic art.

Abteilung für Ältere Urgeschichte und Quartärökologie, Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte und Archäologie des Mittelalters, Universität Tübingen, Schloss Hohentübingen, 72070 Tübingen, Germany


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Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 May, 2009 03:44 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:
[...] ancient humans had sex on their minds [...]

Some things just never change.







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